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Franklin Porter Sterling Silver Arts and Crafts Mote Spoon, RI or MA, 1910-24

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This rare Arts & Crafts mote spoon was made by Franklin Porter whose silver was always made of great design and heavy gauge. The small, pointed bowl is beautifully pierced with a line and circle design and has a wonderful, hammered back. It has a twisted handle with a pointed end. The function of the pointed end of the mote spoon is to unclog tea spouts should they accumulate tea leaves. The pierced strainer is used to strain bits of tea leaves should they make it into your cup. Mote spoons are quite rare, especially in Arts & Crafts silver.

Franklin Porter (1869-1935) was an important arts & crafts silversmith. Porter trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. 'From 1910-1914, he worked out of his home in Bristol Ferry, Rhode Island... He and his family eventually moved to Middleton, Massachusetts, where his wife, Ethel, operated a tearoom in the front of the house that also served as a salesroom... Porter and his family became caretakers of the historic Judge Samuel Holten House in Danvers' in 1924 and returned to being a silversmith full-time having been working during the war 'as a machinist and master mechanic at two local factories'.(1) However, he was fiercely independent and never joined Boston's Society of Arts & Crafts, eschewing the commercial pressures of that organization.(2)

This lovely mote spoon is marked 'F. PORTER/ STERLING'. It measures 6 inches long, weighs 0.60 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.


    1. 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), pp. 359-360.
    2. "Franklin Porter, Silversmith" by Helen Porter Philbrick in the Essex Institute Historical Collections (Vol. CV, No. 3, July, 1969), p. 211.