Michael Murray English Modern Sterling Large Punch/ Centerpiece Bowl, London, 1954/55
This is an impressive bowl with a wonderful provenance. The bowl is typical in shape with the interior having a raised conical center sometimes used with punch bowls so the liquid flows to the sides. Around this central dome is engraved 'AMAVIMUS AMAMUS AMABIMUS' (see below) which translated from Latin means 'We loved, we love and we shall love'.
The folded-over rim is semi-spherical. Stunning irregular hammering to the surface makes the bowl shimmer with the gilding further enhancing the effect on the interior.
Engraved on the bowl is a phoenix below five stars. To the side of the crest is engraved 'QAS Jr/ 1955/ MBCS' with the date between two stars.
Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr (1896-1987) married Marjory Bacon Cheney Shaw (1912-2003) in 1935. (1)
Quincy Shaw, Jr. was the son of Quincy Adams Shaw (1869-1960) and Sarah Pemberton Shaw (1870-1945). (2)
Quincy Adams Shaw (1869-1960) was a famous tennis player appearing in tournaments starting in 1884(3) and from 1910-1941 was president of the Calumet & Hecla Consolidated Copper Company. He and Sarah had homes in Brookline, Pride's Crossing and Eastham. (4)
Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr's grandfather was Quincy Adams Shaw (1825-1908). He had invested in the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company and in his Boston Globe obituary, Shaw was named 'the heaviest individual taxpayer in Massachusetts... and the head of the family whose members in various ways have done much to promote the educational and commercial interests of Boston'. In 1860, he married Pauline Agassiz. (5)
Pauline Agassiz (1841-1917) was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Her father was the famous Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz who later ended up teaching at Harvard. Pauline is credited with establishing and funding the first kindergartens and settlement houses in Boston and surrounding areas. 'She (Pauline) already has set aside a trust fund of $2,000,000.00 to carry out this project (establishing settlement houses), and has indicated that this amount will be increased to $5,000,000.00'. (6)
Michael Murray (1923-2005) first started working with his hands learning the art of stained glass at the age of 15 from Eddy Nuttgens at Piggotts. He went on to learn silversmithing under Dunstan Pruden and later at the Central School of Art and Crafts, London. He worked in various metals and 'In 1955 he made and fitted high up on Westminster Abbey a huge bronze phoenix, 12 foot in wingspan, which can be seen from the roads all around'. (7) Murray also taught silversmithing in London and some of the apprentices included important silversmiths such as Sarah Jones, master spoonmaker William Phipps, and American silversmith Robert Butler. (8)
This rare and magnificent bowl is fully hallmarked underneath the rim. It measures 14.5 inches in diameter by 6 inches high, weighs 57.05 troy ounces and is in excellent condition.