Leinonen Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver and Enamel Communion Set, Boston, c. 1916

Examples of Boston Arts & Crafts silver are exceedingly rare and this is an extraordinary ecclesiastical set consisting of a flagon, chalice and paten. The flagon has a fitted, hinged cover with a cross finial. The bodies are unadorned and have an applied plaque with an enamel cross and open book which reads 'VERITAS ETVITA' which means 'truth' and 'life'.  The flagon is inscribed:

IN MEMORY OF
ISABELLA WINLOCK
MAY 6, 1832 - FEB. 19 1912
ANNA WINLOCK
SEPT. 15 1857 - JAN. 4 1904

The chalice and paten are inscribed:

IN MEMORY OF
LOUISA WINLOCK
OCT 6 1860
AUG 28 1916

Anna and Louisa Winlock were daughters of Joseph and Isabella Winlock. Joseph was a famous astronomer and the 3rd director of the Harvard College Observatory. Having completed high school, Anna self-taught herself astronomy and became 'one of the first women to hold a paid position as a staff member at the Harvard College Observatory'.(1) Louisa is also listed as a staff member at the Observatory.

These pieces were hand-raised and made by Karl Leinonen, a Finnish immigrant silversmith, who received the Society of Arts and Crafts highest award for his craft, the designation of 'Medalist', one of only seven silversmiths to be so honored. 

Ecclesiastical silver is quite rare on the retail market as most religious institutions usually keep their collections. This wonderful item was part of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts which was recently acquired by Leslie University. For a history of the Church, click here.

The flagon and paten are marked with Leinonen's early 'L' mark. All pieces are marked 'STERLING' and with a cross. The flagon measures 11 inches high to the top of the handle. The set weighs a combined 56.30 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.

 

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