Franklin Porter Signed 'Inca' Pattern Sterling Silver Arts & Crafts Charger, Danvers, MA, 1930
This stunning charger is the largest piece by Porter that we have ever had the pleasure of offering. It is entirely raised and shaped by hand. The surface on both sides displays beautiful, fluid hammering. The raised rim is formed with two circular rings of 11 indentations with an outer scalloped edge. This design is identified as the 'Inca Pattern.' (1)
Franklin Porter (1869-1935) was an important arts & crafts silversmith working in Danvers, Massachusetts when this charger was made. Porter trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. (2) However, he was fiercely independent and never joined Boston's Society of Arts & Crafts, eschewing the commercial pressures of that organization. (3)
He worked out of his home, the 1670 Judge Samuel Holten House, and each piece was accompanied by a note which read in part:
Like the House in which it was made, this piece is constructed of the best material obtainable, by methods older than the House itself and is intended for a century or more of service. (4)
Examples of his silver holloware are uncommon, always hand-raised and of good quality. A four-piece demitasse set by him is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (5) and his masterpiece, The Resurrection Communion Service, is in the treasury of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (6)
This exceptional example from this shop is marked underneath 'F. PORTER/ STERLING' and with his trademark first used in 1925. It is also signed and dated 1930. The platter measures 14 inches in diameter by .75 inches high, weighs 32.10 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.
"Franklin Porter, Silversmith" by Helen Porter Philbrick in theEssex Institute Historical Collections(Vol. CV, No. 3, July, 1969), p. 187.
Jeannine Falino and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds.,Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000: American Silver in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (Boston: MFA Publications, 2008), p. 273.