Arthur Stone Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver Brazier, Gardner, MA, c. 1915
It is always exciting to find an object you never knew existed. This warming stand is an exceedingly rare example of great Arts & Crafts silver from the venerable shop of Arthur Stone.
This stand is used to rest a pot or dish upon to keep its contents heated. Wonderfully turned ebony is used for the main handle; the handle of the removable burner and the three bun feet are also ebony.
One of the three risers upon which a pot would rest is hinged and rises up in order to remove the large burner. The risers are bordered with lovely hand-chased line decoration which compliments the shape of the three legs supporting the bowl and risers. The bowl has a lower section that is pierced and holds the burner with its original wick container. The round bowl is pierced with leaf and circle decoration. Not only is the piercing beautiful, it acts to dissipate the heat from the burner. Travelling around the midsection are chased double-lines which encircle blank cartouches in the three sections.
In 18th century warmers, coals would have been placed in the base to warm the vessel above. Stone has creatively adapted the form to new heating technologies (including the use of a hinged riser) while developing a design highly sympathetic to its colonial antecedents.
Arthur J. Stone ran the preeminent arts & crafts silver shop in New England, possibly 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 body of the brazier 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. (Stone was the first silversmith to win the award.) The burner was crafted by Arthur Hartwell, another master working for Stone.
This rare warming stand is marked underneath with Stone's trademark along with 'STERLING/ H', the 'H' for Arthur Hartwell. The body is marked similarly with a 'T' for Herbert Taylor. The stand measures 12.5 inches long across the handle by 4.5 inches high. The diameter of the bowl is 6 inches. This impressive example of Stone's silver weighs 18.45 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.
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