Arthur Stone - The Julia Marlowe Sothern Sterling Silver Tea Pot, Gardner, MA, c. 1920
This diminutive tea pot has all the grace and beauty one expects from the shop of Arthur Stone. The beautiful curves of the body and spout along with the shaped handle are lovely. A domed, hinged cover has a lovely carved ivory finial. Also original are the two ivory insulators used on the handle. The overall body has the trademark hammered surface for which Stone is so revered.
The stylized initials 'JMS' within a rectangle are a work of art. They are for Julia Marlowe Southern and appear on all her silver which she ordered from Arthur Stone. Julia Marlowe Sothern and George Booth were Stone's most important clients. Julia Marlowe (1865-1950) became an accomplished Shakespearian actress sharing billings with another famous actor Edward Hugh Sothern. The two married in 1911 and purchased some of the finest silver the Stone shop produced over the next several years for their homes in Litchfield, CT and New York City. Pieces commissioned by Sothern bear her distinctive 'JMS' repousséd monogram, can be found in important museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and have set auction records for Stone's silver. Several pieces are illustrated in Arthur Stone 1847-1938: Silversmith and Designer by Elenita Chickering. In a note written to Stone in 1915, Julia Sothern thanks him for her beautiful items: 'They will be a lifelong joy to me – I rejoice in their beauty – and they will represent to me always, and will be symbols – of your sincerity in life and your joy in [silversmithing]' (Arthur J. Stone Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).
(the unsightly lines in the above photo are reflections from the photo studio)
This rare tea pot is marked underneath with Stone's trademark along with 'STERLING/ H'. The 'H' is for Arthur Hartwell, Master Craftsman who would have raised the pot. The repoussé work would have been done by Arthur Stone. It measures 8.25 inches across the handle and spout by 6.5 inches high, weighs 14.25 troy ounces and is in excellent, crisp antique condition.
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