Arthur Stone Set of 4 'Scrooby' Arts and Crafts Sterling Candlesticks, Gardner, MA, c. 1920
Stunning design and beautiful proportions characterize these rare pointed-oval candlesticks. This form in arts & crafts silver is very uncommon, and to find a set of four of this caliber and condition is remarkable. The elegance is conveyed through the exceptional design and soft hammering of the surfaces.
Four removable bobeche conform to the curved socles and fit with remarkable precision. They are decorated and reinforced with reeded silver molding around their edges. This decoration is also incorporated at the bases of the socles and on the columns. The stepped bases are oval-shaped with pointed corners.
The original design drawing for the Scrooby candlesticks is published in Arthur J. Stone by Elenita Chickering. Also, photographed on page 165, are two of the candlesticks from this set of four. (1) The Arthur Stone Associates Papers at the Archives of American Art show that the firm made a few sets of these candlesticks, some "oval pointed," some round, and at least one with additional decoration.
Chickering notes, "The design was adapted from a candlestick Stone noticed while visiting the old meeting house in Scrooby, England." (2) Scrooby, England, was the home of Pilgrim William Brewster. Unhappy with the Church of England, he became a "Brownist," an early type of Congregationalist. Fleeing to Holland in 1608, he would become a leader of a group of Puritans who sailed to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620. The rest is history.
Scrooby has been a tourist attraction for well over a century, today on the "Pilgrim" or "Mayflower Trail." Stone visited his native England several times to visit family and friends. Remarkably, he visited Scrooby on one of these trips to study the history (and mythology) of his adopted country. The fact that these were inspired by a candlestick at William Brewster's meeting house adds deep symbolic meaning to the design of these candlesticks, far beyond their neoclassical design roots. That symbolism would have resonated with his well educated New England clientele.
Provenance: ARK Antiques. Private Collection.
Literature: ARK Antiques, Fine, Early 20th Century American Craftsman Silver Jewelry and Metal, Catalog No. 1988, Supplement No. 2, 1988. Elenita C. Chickering, Arthur J. Stone 1847-1938: Designer and Silversmith.
These stunning candlesticks are marked underneath with the Stone's trademark and 'STERLING/ H/ WGT. 14ozs.' The 'H' denotes work by Arthur Hartwell, who achieved Master Craftsman status within the Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston. The bobeches are marked 'STERLING.' The candlesticks are weighted and have the original silver bottom. They measure 11 inches tall and are in very good/excellent antique condition with a few minor nicks/ dings from use.
Elenita C. Chickering, Arthur J. Stone 1847-1938: Designer and Silversmith, (Boston: the Boston Athenaeum, 1994), pp. 28 & 165.
Chickering, p. 165.
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