These shakers are for salt and pepper with one set of holes being larger than the other. They are entirely crafted by hand and exhibit wonderful hammering to their surface. They are low, with wide bodies. The bottom sections are rounded with flat bottoms so they won't tip over. The removable covers have a hammered edge giving the appearance of an applied band.
Franklin Porter (1869-1935) was an important arts & crafts silversmith working in Danvers, Massachusetts when these shakers 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, 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 uncommon shakers are marked underneath 'F. PORTER/ STERLING' and with his trademark first used in 1925. They measure 2.5 inches in diameter by 2 inches tall, weigh a combined 5.65 troy ounces and are in excellent 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.
- Philbrick, p. 147.
- Falino, p. 273.
- Philbrick, pp. 195-99.