June 22, 2023 2 min read
Stavre Gregor Panis (1887, Dardha, Albania – 1974 Falmouth, MA) met Gladys Hamilton (1900, Swanville, ME – 2001, Falmouth, MA) in 1923 when they were students at the Mass Normal School, now the Mass College of Art. He asked her to design some monograms, and their partnership lasted until his death in 1974. She did all the designing; he did most of the making until he fell and broke his hip in 1969. After that, she did much of the making until the early ’90s when Michael O’Donnell became her assistant. She signed her pieces with an additional ‘G’ and Michael signed with an additional ‘M.’
From a family of Albanian silversmiths, Panis came to the US in 1905, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 145 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. He lived in Arlington, MA, near his brothers Andrew and Basil.
After serving in WWI, Stavre enrolled in the Mass Normal School, became a member of the Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, and crafted jewelry at the Lime Street studio at the base of Beacon Hill, working along other SAC silversmiths.
He and Gladys married in 1927, the same year he exhibited a piece of jewelry, a silver ‘lily cross,’ in the Boston SAC’s important 1927 Tricennial Exhibition.
Motivated by trips to Cape Cod, they moved to Falmouth in 1938. She designed, and he made a range of jewelry and small silver, also copper, some enameled. Gladys was inspired by the sea life and the gardens of the area, and these motifs became central to her designs.
The mid-century silver they created together (and later by herself and with Michael) is fun and relaxed, just as a nice summer evening on the Cape should be.
Pieces sold were accompanied by a note that stated:
THE ARTICLE ENCLOSED HAS BEEN
MADE BY HAND AT THIS SHOP
WHERE MANY OTHER LOVELY AND
DISTINCTIVE PIECES ALSO MAY BE
FOUND: AS THE SHOP IS THE ONLY
ONE OF ITS KIND ON THE CAPE IT IS
ESPECIALLY INTERESTING TO THE
SEEKER OF THE UNUSUAL. HERE MAY
BE FOUND IN THE ACTUAL PROCESS
OF MAKING, JEWELRY, SILVER AND
COPPER SMITHING, AND ENAMELING.
A VISIT TO THIS SHOP WILL PROVE AN
EXCEPTIONAL PLEASURE TO THOSE WHO
LOVE THE HAND-MADE. THE PRESENT
PROPRIETOR IS THE FOURTH GENE-
RATION FROM ALBANIA IN THE CRAFT
OF SILVERSMITHING. THE SHOP IS
OPEN DURING THE ENTIRE YEAR AND
VISITORS ARE CORDIALLY WELCOME.
First Road Right off Pin Oak Way
P. 0. Box 505
To view Panis pieces in stock, click here.
Sign up to get the latest updates and current musings in our occasional newsletter…