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Franklin Porter 'Pineapple' Sterling Silver Arts & Crafts Serving Spoon, Danvers, MA, c. 1930

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This lovely server from Franklin Porter comes with one of his most recognizable design motifs: the pineapple. Made entirely by hand, this lovely server exhibits wonderful hammering to the surface. It is nicely shaped and has an applied pineapple at the top. Porter's first order for a spoon with a pineapple came in May of 1926...'The pineapple is the symbol of hospitality...The pineapple fired everyone's imagination'. Porter made various items with this now popular motif including flatware and holloware. (1) 

Franklin Porter (1869-1935) was an important arts & crafts silversmith working in Danvers, Massachusetts when this spoon was made. Porter trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. (2) However, he was fiercely independent and never joined Boston's Society of Arts & Crafts, eschewing the commercial pressures of that organization. (3)

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. (4)

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 (5) and his masterpiece, The Resurrection Communion Service, is in the treasury of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (6)

This wonderful server is marked underneath 'F. PORTER/ STERLING' and with his trademark first used in 1925. It measures just shy of 9 inches long, weighs 3.3 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.

Endnotes:

  1. "Franklin Porter, Silversmith" by Helen Porter Philbrick in the Essex Institute Historical Collections (Vol. CV, No. 3, July, 1969), p. 166-167.
  2. 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.
  3. Philbrick, p. 211.
  4. Philbrick, p. 147.
  5. Falino, p. 273.
  6. Philbrick, pp. 195-99.
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