Robert R. Jarvie Important Sterling Trophy, Chicago, 1913, awarded to Fyvie Baron, International Clydesdale Champion
This outstanding trophy features many elements of the finest American arts & crafts silver. The rimmed, square base rises gently to the square pedestal with superb repousséd panels decorated with abstract organic shapes. A band of similar repoussé work decorates the bowl under an applied wire rim that strengthens the edge and reflects the design of the foot. The difficult transition from circle at the rim to square at the pedestal is elegantly achieved.
The finest example of Jarvie's work to come on the market since the pitcher we sold the Metropolitan Museum of Art nearly a decade ago (see here and here), this exceptional trophy makes a bold design statement.
In artistic arts & crafts block lettering, it is inscribed underneath the foot on one side:
Fyvie Baron (14681) 17608
and on the opposite side:
Live Stock Exposition
Clydesdales are kings of the quarter horses and Fyvie Baron was the greatest champion of his era. The Field Illustrated in 1916 noted he '...has the distinction of being the champion of Scotland, Canada and the United States.'(1)
In his obituary, The Field Illustrated stated: 'He was international champion at the Chicago Show in 1913, and since that event has stood at the head of the line whenever competing.'(2) They list some of his achievements:
As a yearling he was first at the Aberdeen Spring Show and champion over both males and females; first and champion at Kilmarnock over both males and females; first and champion at Edinburgh; first at the Royal Show at Newcastle, and first and champion at the H. & A. S. Show in Aberdeen. In 1909, he was first and male champion at Kilmarnock, and first and male champion at the H. & A. S. Show at Stirling. In 1912, he was again first at the Highland, at Cupar, as an aged stallion. In 1910, he was the Fyvie and Strathbogie Premium Horse. In 1911 and 1912, he was the Mochars of Wigtownshire Premium Horse. In 1913 he was first and grand champion at the Toronto Fair, first and grand champion at the Toronto Exposition, first and grand champion at the Chicago International.(3)
This is his international championship trophy.
Robert Riddle Jarvie of Chicago was the single most important American arts & crafts metalsmith. He started his career at the turn of the century making copper and bronze floral-form candlesticks that have become iconic to the arts & crafts movement.
About 1910 he became a founding member of the Cliff Dweller's Club, a group of artistically minded Chicagoans, where he met the important Prairie school architect George Elmslie. With Cliff Dwellers' encouragement and patronage, Jarvie started fashioning objects in silver - producing some of the finest arts and crafts silver ever made. Many of his rare pieces are institutionally owned (see the Art Institute of Chicago's website).
Most of the silver produced in his shop dates from 1912 to 1914 and it is rare to find pieces as exciting as this trophy. During this brief period he employed important artisan silversmiths including John Petterson
Robert Jarvie was of Scottish descent. The easy familiarity between the decoration on this trophy and that of designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow is a wonderful example of the collaborative nature of the world-wide arts & crafts movement which can also be seen in designs from the secessionist movement in Vienna.
Robert Jarvie's silver rarely comes on the market today, and pieces of this quality are now primarily in institutional collections.
This very rare trophy is marked underneath "STERLING', 'Jarvie' and '1149'. It measures 6.8 inches high and 8.5 inches in diameter. It weighs 30.95 troy ounces and is in very good antique condition with some etching to the top area, primarily around the decoration.
Provenance: Conyngham Brothers, Wilkesbarre, PA; descent in the family; Private Collection
'International Eclat at Hayfield' in The Field Illustrated, July, 1916, p. 601.
'Draft Horse News: Fyvie Baron Dead' in The Field Illustrated, August, 1916, p. 686. The obituary includes a listing of his achievements: