L316

James T. Woolley Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver Porringer, Boston, 1939


This lovely porringer is beautifully executed and of very high quality. Made from heavy gauge silver, the circular, bulbous body has a plain surface with only beautiful hammering as decoration. The molded base matches the applied border around the top of the body. The beautiful, pierced keyhole handle is engraved 'ANNE on the front and the underside of the bowl is engraved 'FROM/ GRANDPA PIGEON/ DEC. 25, 1939'. Porringers are great for morning breakfast but also are used today for candy dishes or as lovely bottle coasters.

James Woolley's handmade silver is rarely seen on the market today. A highly talented silversmith, Woolley is one of only eight silversmiths to win the 'Medalist' designation, the highest honor bestowed by the Boston Society of Arts & Crafts. His work was featured in the Society's 1907 exhibition.(1)

Trained at Gorham, Woolley was an early convert to the movement and worked as a silversmith and jeweler. Early in his career, he shared bench space with the important arts and crafts silversmith George J. Hunt and set up his own shop in 1908.(2) Many of his best pieces are adaptations of colonial models. 

This uncommon arts & crafts porringer is marked on the reverse of the handle with Woolley's trademark 'JW' and 'STERLING/ WOOLLEY'. It measures 6.75 inches across the handle by 1.5 inches high, weighs 6.4 troy ounces and is in very good antique condition.

Endnotes:

  1. Karen Evans Ulehla, Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston Exhibition Record 1897-1927, (Boston: Boston Public Library, 1981).
  2. Allen H. Eaton, Handicrafts of New England, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949), p.241.
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