Arthur Stone Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver 'Avon' Bowl, Gardner, MA, c. 1926
This lovely bowl is entirely raised by hand and features elegant proportions. It has an inverted rim and rests on a spreading foot. The decoration around the bowl is stunning. Between two incised lines are seventeen each of alternating circles and decorative crosses. Below this design are thirty-four swirling lobes and flutes.
The 'Avon' bowl is a famous design by Arthur Stone that was produced in various sizes. A design drawing by Stone is pictured in the book, Arthur J. Stone 1847-1938(1), and one example is pictured on a table where Charlotte Bone, also a designer, is working.(2) Later in the book, Arthur Stone is pictured in his shop holding a larger version of this bowl(3) and a similarly sized bowl to ours was included in the concurrent traveling exhibition. That one is pictured and described.(4)
Underneath, the bowl is inscribed 'Eleanor Bumstead/ January 1926' and was most likely a wedding gift.
Eleanor Bumstead (1902-1987) graduated Smith College in 1923 and in 1924, visited England where she met William Edwards Stevenson. They married in 1926.(5)
'During the World War II, Eleanor Stevenson and her husband, William Edwards Stevenson, organized and administered American Red Cross operations in Great Britain, North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. Both she and her husband were awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in support of military operations'.(6)
Arthur Stone was the undisputed master silversmith of the Boston arts and crafts movement. His shop produced some of the finest silver ever made, and many of the journeymen who worked for him were masters in their own right. Unlike other shops, Stone allowed his journeymen to mark their work. In this case, Herman Glendenning (Boston Society of Arts & Crafts 'Master Craftsman') raised this piece. Glendenning worked at the Stone Shop from 1920 until 1936.(7)
This wonderful bowl is marked with Stone's trademark and the 'G' mark for Glendenning. It measures 6.875 inches in diameter by by 2.75 inches high and weighs 10.60 troy ounces. It is in very good antique condition with scratches inside the bowl from use.
Elenita C. Chickering, Arthur J. Stone 1847-1938: Designer and Silversmith, (Boston: the Boston Athenaeum, 1994), p. 47.
Ibid., p. 24.
Ibid., p. 17.
Ibid., p. 174.
Oberlin College Archives, www.oberlin.edu/archive/holdings/finding/RG30/SG219/biography.html (last accessed 2/22/16).