Arthur Stone Sterling Arts and Crafts Pierced and Decorated Basket, Gardner, MA, 1912
Amazing details are pierced and chased around the oval body with repeating scenes of "fleur-de-lis" in bloom with clusters of overlapping leaves. It seems as if the view on the basket shows the perimeter of a woodland pond. The oval pedestal base supports the body, which has a swing handle. The handle is chased with stems going up the sides that converge at the top with pierced and chased intertwining berry clusters.
This extraordinary small basket exhibits some of the finest silversmithing work from Arthur Stone and is almost certainly unique. Arthur Hartwell raised the body, and Arthur Stone chased the iconic decoration.
According to the Arthur Stone Archives at the Archives of American Art, this item is pictured and cataloged as a 'Pierced Basket 1912.' (1) It is the size and shape of a sugar basket. Over the past generation, it has become recognized as an exemplary work of art from the Stone shop, having been included in the traveling Arthur Stone exhibition of 1994-96 and discussed and illustrated in three publications.
While the other artisans in Stone's shop raised objects, the chasing was done mainly by Stone himself until 1925. Most of the silver from Stone's shop features very little chasing, if any at all. This basket is a brilliant example of his imaginative designs incorporating objects from his natural surroundings and executing them with lovely precision.
Exhibition: Arthur J. Stone 1847 - 1938: Designer & Silversmith(1994-96) Arthur J. Stone Handwrought Silver 1901-1937, The Library of the Boston Athenaeum, Boston, MA, Aug 17, 1981 - Sep 30, 1981, cit. 40.
Literature: Arthur J. Stone 1847 - 1938: Designer & Silversmith The Arts & Crafts Movement "The Society of Arts & Crafts of Boston and its Master Silversmiths" in Arts & Crafts Quarterly Magazine
Provenance: ARK Antiques 1989 Private Collection
This magnificent basket is marked underneath with Stone's impressed hammer mark along with 'STERLING/ H.' The 'H' denotes work by Arthur Hartwell, who achieved Master Craftsman status within the Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston. It measures 5 inches long by 4.75 inches high to the top of the handle and weighs 4.55 troy ounces. It is in excellent condition and has never been monogrammed.
Arthur J. Stone Papers, Archives of American Art, Box 15 "Photograph file of finished works of art"
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