This unusual hand wrought tea strainer comes with a small cup to hold the strainer after its use. The conical strainer is pierced underneath and around its sides with a series of circular holes. The wood handle is fitted and pinned into a silver sleeve attached to the strainer and has 2 scored rings near its end (a favored Porter motif). The lovely surface of the silver exhibits wonderful hammering.
Franklin Porter (1869-1935) was an important art & crafts silversmith. Porter trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. 'From 1910-1914, he worked out of his home in Bristol Ferry, Rhode Island... He and his family eventually moved to Middleton, Massachusetts, where his wife, Ethel, operated a tearoom in the front of the house that also served as a salesroom... Porter and his family became caretakers of the historic Judge Samuel Holten House in Danvers' in 1924 and returned to being a silversmith full-time having been working during the war 'as a machinist and master mechanic at two local factories'.(1) However, he was fiercely independent and never joined Boston's Society of Arts & Crafts, eschewing the commercial pressures of that organization. (2)
This beautiful tea strainer and cup stand are marked 'F. PORTER/ STERLING' and with Franklin Porter's trademark first used in 1925. The strainer measures just over 5 inches across the strainer and handle by 2.25 inches high They have a combined weight of 4.95 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), pp. 359-360.
- "Franklin Porter, Silversmith" by Helen Porter Philbrick in the Essex Institute Historical Collections (Vol. CV, No. 3, July, 1969), p. 211.