Franklin Porter Sterling Silver Arts & Crafts Condiment Jar, Danvers, MA, c. 1930
This uncommon example of arts & crafts silver from Franklin Porter comes with one of his most recognizable design attributes: the pineapple. This container is entirely hand-raised and the entire surface, both inside and out, displays beautiful fluid hammering. The globular body is fitted with a removable cover with an attached pineapple as a handle. There is a cutout for a mustard spoon or ladle.
Porter's first order for a spoon with a pineapple came in May of 1926...'The pineapple is the symbol of hospitality.... The pineapple fired everyone's imagination'. Porter made various items with this now popular motif including 'a silver marmalade jar large enough to hold a jelly tumbler with silver cover and jam spoon with pineapple finial.' (1)
Franklin Porter (1869-1935) was an important arts & crafts silversmith working in Danvers, Massachusetts when this jar 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 beautiful example from this shop is marked underneath 'F. PORTER/ STERLING' and with his trademark first used in 1925. It measures 3 inches wide by 3.25 inches high, weighs 6 troy ounces and is in very good antique condition.
"Franklin Porter, Silversmith" by Helen Porter Philbrick in theEssex Institute Historical Collections(Vol. CV, No. 3, July, 1969), p. 166-167.
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.