Franklin Porter Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver Candle Holders, Danvers, MA, 1925-35
With boldly hammered surfaces, these low candle holders were entirely hand wrought. With big planishing marks, the wide bases turn down at the edge to make the foot. The socles, with similar shaped edges and planishing marks, complement the bases. With such confident design, these lovely candle holders comport themselves as larger than they are.
Franklin Porter (1869-1935) was an important arts & crafts silversmith working in Danvers, Massachusetts when these candle holders were made. Porter trained at the Rhode Island School of Design.(1) However, he was fiercely independent and never joined Boston's Society of Arts & Crafts, eschewing the commercial pressures of that organization.(2)
He worked out of his home, the 1670 Judge Samuel Holten House in Danvers, and each piece was accompanied by a note which read in part:
Like the House in which it was made, this piece is constructed of the best material obtainable, by methods older than the House itself and is intended for a century or more of service.(3)
Examples of his silver holloware are uncommon, always hand-raised and of good quality. A four piece demitasse set by him is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston(4) and his masterpiece, The Resurrection Communion Service, is in the treasury of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.(5)
These rare sterling silver candle holders are marked underneath 'F Porter', 'STERLING' and with the conjoined FP mark Porter adopted in 1925. They measure 1.5 inches high and 3.5 inches in diameter, weigh 7.85 troy ounces and are in very good 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), p. 273.
"Franklin Porter, Silversmith by Helen Porter Philbrick in the Essex Institute Historical Collections (Vol. CV, No. 3, July, 1969), p. 211.