Franklin Porter Sterling Silver Arts & Crafts Tomato Server, RI or MA, 1910-24
This rare Arts & Crafts server was made by Franklin Porter whose silver was always made of great design and heavy gauge. It has a circular, flat blade pierced with circles and lines emanating from a flower. The handle is tapered with a wavy top edge and large hammer marks.
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 beautiful server is marked 'F. PORTER/ STERLING'. It measures 8.5 inches long, weighs1.80 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), pp. 359-360.
"Franklin Porter, Silversmith" by Helen Porter Philbrick in the Essex Institute Historical Collections (Vol. CV, No. 3, July, 1969), p. 211.