The term filigree is derived from the Italian word filigrana, which is originally from the Latin word filum, meaning a thread of wire and granum, meaning a grain or bead. Various American silversmiths produced filigree decorated flatware during the late 1800's. One notable firm was the Dirksen Silver Filigree Co. of Freeport, Illinois. Founded by Garret Dirksen, a German silversmith who came to America about 1844, and operated a small shop from the early 1880's until 1905. This item came from a Freeport estate and though not marked was probably created by the Dirksen Co.
This wonderful souvenir semi-tasse spoon measures 4 1/4" in length, with a delicate filigree filled handle. The bowl is engraved "El Paso 1893". The sterling mark was destroyed during the filigree process. There is no damage to the filigree.