Gebelein Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver Large Gravy Boat, Boston, MA, c. 1945
The large size of this stunning gravy boat is quite beautiful and impressive. The hand-raised body has a lovely surface that shimmers with all the hammering from the silversmith's tools. The body is sometimes referred to as 'helmet-shaped,' for when it is inverted, it resembles the form of a warrior's helmet. Cast and applied feet raise the squat body. A wonderful handle with thumb-piece incorporates scroll elements at both ends. Engraved underneath is:
Samuel Parkman Shaw, Jr. from Susan Jameson Shaw July 21, 1945
George Christian Gebelein was a seminal figure in the Boston arts & crafts movement, being one of only eight silversmiths to win the prestigious 'Medalist' award from the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, the society's highest honor for craftsmanship.
Having immigrated from Germany as a teenager, Gebelein apprenticed in Boston for Goodnow & Jenks. He was then employed in New York City by George W. Shiebler. Starting at the age of 19, Gebelein worked at Tiffany & Co. for a little over two years and then in 1900 moved to the firm of William B. Durgin in Concord, New Hampshire.
In 1903, he joined other artisans at the Boston Society of Arts and Craft's 'Handicraft Shop' in Wellesley Hills, MA. (1) Ultimately, in 1909, Gebelein opened his own shop at 79 Chestnut Street in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston where he continued to work for the rest of his life. (2)
This magnificent gravy boat is marked underneath "Gebelein/ STERLING/ Boston." It measures 8.25 inches across the handle and spout by 5 inches wide by 5.5 inches high to the top of the handle. It weighs an impressive 20.75 troy ounces and is in excellent condition with light scratching to the interior from use. A copy of Margaretha Gebelein Leighton's book, George Christian Gebelein, Boston Silversmith, 1878-1945, accompanies this gravy boat.
Margaretha Gebelein Leighton, George Christian Gebelein, Boston Silversmith, 1878-1945, (Lunenburg, VT: The Stinehouse Press, 1976), pp. 12-33.
Leighton, p. 54-56.
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