Franklin Porter Sterling Silver and Wood Arts & Crafts Ladle, Danvers, MA, c. 1930
Wood and silver make a lovely combination. This beautiful ladle was craftedentirely by hand. The silver is elegantly shaped and shimmers with its hammered surface. The exotic wood is lovely and has a silver cap at the top and ferrule where it joins the silver handle. This lovely server exhibits a wonderfully hammed surface.
Franklin Porter (1869-1935) was an important arts & crafts silversmith working in Danvers, Massachusetts when this ladle was made. Porter trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. (1) However, he was fiercely independent and never joined Boston's Society of Arts & Crafts, eschewing the commercial pressures of that organization. (2)
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. (3)
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 (4) and his masterpiece, The Resurrection Communion Service, is in the treasury of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (5)
This wonderful server is marked underneath 'F. PORTER/ STERLING' and with his trademark first used in 1925. It measures just shy of 9 inches long, weighs 3.3 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.
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.
"Franklin Porter, Silversmith" by Helen Porter Philbrick in theEssex Institute Historical Collections(Vol. CV, No. 3, July, 1969), p. 211.