George E. Germer Antique Gilt Brass Alms Basin, Mason, NH, c.1920s
This large and stunning hand wrought alms basin executed in brass. It is unique and an exceptionally rare piece of George Ernest Germer's work to come on the market. The interior of the bowl has sixteen petals with ruffled ends emanating from a domed center containing a fleur-de-lis cross. Above the curved sides, the wide rim is debossed and engraved with the offertory hymn:
ALL THINGS COME OF THEE O LORD AND OF THINE OWN HAVE WE GIVEN THEE
Award-winning silversmith George E. Germer was the leading maker of ecclesiastical silver of the American Arts & Crafts Movement. He made relatively few pieces during his career. Most are institutionally owned, and his work rarely appears on the market.
Germer immigrated from Germany in 1893 as a highly skilled silversmith and chaser. He worked for Tiffany as a chaser from 1893 until he left for Gorham about 1903. In Providence, he chased many Martelé masterpieces including an alms dish exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. About 1912, left Gorham to set up shop in Boston where he began his independent career. In 1917, he moved to Mason, New Hampshire, where he created masterpieces in his old farmhouse until his death in 1936.
During his career, Germer only produced two or three pieces a year. Typically, they were commissioned by institutions and designed by architects. These pieces rarely come on the market and examples that are both designed and executed by him are even rarer.
We are fortunate to be able to offer this remarkable basin from St John's Memorial Chapel at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Provenance: Estate of the Artist (Almost certainly) Florence S. Dustin, Cambridge, Massachusetts Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Episcopal Divinity School was formerly the Episcopal Theological School founded in 1867 in Cambridge; it changed its name in 1974 when it combined with the Philadelphia Divinity School which was founded in 1857. In 2018, the school merged with the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the campus was acquired by Leslie University. For more history of the school, see here.
This exceptional basin is marked on the back 'DES. & MADE BY G.E. GERMER'. It measures 14 inches in diameter and is in very good/ excellent antique condition.
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