Arthur Stone Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver 'Woolsey' Large Centerpiece Bowl, Gardner, MA c. 1920
This elegant footed centerpiece bowl has shaped a bowl with seven sections divided by ribs with an applied molded band around the rim. The spreading foot has a molded edge which complements the rim.
Stone ran one of the most important arts & crafts shops in the country. Items were hand made using traditional silversmithing techniques. An innovator, Stone let the other masters who worked for him sign the items they made. This centerpiece was raised by Herbert Taylor, Stone's 'right hand man' and possibly the most accomplished silversmith who worked for Stone. Taylor was one of only eight silversmiths to win the award of 'Medalist', the highest honor for craft bestowed by the Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston.
Theodore S. Woolsey was a Yale professor and connoisseur who gave Stone an English silver bowl that inspired this design. Stone's shop referred to this elegant style as 'Woolsey' when used in bowls and dishes. (See Elenita Chickering, Arthur J. Stone 1847-1938 Designer and Silversmith, p. 163.)
Marked with Stone's trademark, 'Sterling' and 'T' for Herbert Taylor, thise sterling silver centerpiece bowl measures 12.5 inches in diameter and 3.75 inches high. It weighs 40.2 troy ounces, has never been monogrammed and is in excellent antique condition.
Hugh J. Grant, Sr. (1858-1910) was the first Irish-American mayor of New York City, serving from 1889-1892. At the age of 31, he was also the youngest mayor in that city's history. Grant married Julia M. Murphy (1872-1944), the daughter of New York Senator Edward Murphy, Jr. (1836 -1911), in 1895.
A successful real estate investor, Grant lived with his family in their 10,960 square foot mansion at 20 East 72nd Street that was designed by the architectural firm of Rose and Stone. They purchased many of the finest decorative arts then available - including the exceptional Gorham Martelé ewer and basin now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Grants were important philanthropists and major donors to the Catholic Church, providing the funds to establish Regis High School (a Jesuit school for the poor and gifted), in New York. The Grants fully funded the school until the 1960's. Hugh J. Grant, Jr. gifted their 72nd Street mansion to the Archdiocese of New York. It is currently the residence of the Vatican's ambassador to the United Nations and serves as the Pope's residence when visiting New York City.
This would have probably been owned by his wife Julia.