Arthur Stone Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver Alms Basin, Gardner, MA, c. 1922
This large alms basin is an impressive and extremely rare example of Arts & Crafts silver from the famous shop of Arthur Stone. Silver owned by religious institutions rarely appears on the open market, and we are fortunate to be able to offer this remarkable basin from St John's Memorial Chapel at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Totally hand-raised, the deep bowl is flat on the bottom with curved sides. There is a wide border with a raised interior ring and an applied outer edge. Engraved within the border are the arms of the school which is a shield containing a cross and an open book with the Latin verse 'VERITAS ET VITA'(Truth and the life).
The underside is engraved:
PRESENTED TO ST JOHN'S MEMORIAL CHAPEL APRIL 16, 1922 IN LOVING MEMORY OF ELIZABETH WOODBURY NEWBEGIN 1867-1921
GIVEN BY HER CHILDREN HENRY, EDWARD, ELIZABETH AND ROBERT NEWBEGIN
Elizabeth Woodbury King married Edward Henry Newbegin who, after becoming a lawyer in 1893, decided to join the ministry and in 1896 received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological School. (1)
Arthur J. Stone ran the preeminent arts & crafts silver shop in New England, possibly the country. Items were handmade using traditional silversmithing techniques. An innovator, Stone let the other masters who worked for him sign the pieces they made.
This basin was raised by Herbert Taylor, Stone's ' right-hand man' and possibly the most accomplished silversmith who worked for Stone. Taylor, who worked for Stone from 1906-1937, was one of only eight silversmiths to win the award of 'Medalist,' the highest honor for craft bestowed by the Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston. (Stone was the first silversmith to win the award.)
The Episcopal Divinity School was formerly the Episcopal Theological School founded in 1867 in Cambridge; it changed its name in 1974 when it combined with the Philadelphia Divinity School which was founded in 1857. In 2018, the school merged with the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the campus was acquired by Leslie University. For more history of the school, see here.
This rare basin is marked underneath with Stone's trademark, 'STERLING' and 'T' for craftsman Herbert Taylor. It measures 17 inches in diameter by 2.25 inches high, weighs 54.80 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Ayer Massachusetts, Parish History: Edward Henry Newbegin, see here.
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