Tureen on Plateau
William C. Codman ( British, 1839 - 1921 )
Spaulding & Company ( American, 1888 )
Gorham Manufacturing Company ( American, 1831 )
Axel Herman Staf ( American, 1869 - 1941 )
Franz F. Ziegler ( American, born Germany, 1869 - 1934 )
Otto Colmetz ( American, 1863 - 1950 )
This tureen and stand were originally part of a 129 piece table service commissioned by William Andrews Clark (1839-1925), who served as a senator from Montana from 1901 to 1907. While Clark had extensive properties in Montana, this service was commissioned for his Louis XIV-style residence in New York City. To complement the house, the design of the tureen and stand was inspired by 17th-century European silver. The grotesque masks, paw feet, and bands of fruit and flowers were all derived from this earlier work. The use of this historical ornamentation on a conservative shape in 1910 is most interesting, Although the reductivist aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts Movement were at their height in the United States at that time, this tureen and stand demonstrate that the vast majority of Americans were not interested in that more restrained style, but rather believed historical styles to be far more beautiful and desirable.
The Clark commission was one of Gorham's most important. Not only did the firm's chief designer execute the drawings for the service but also its finest workmen labored on it for over two years. The tureen and stand alone required 1,056 man-hours to create. Consequently, Clark paid dearly for these two pieces; the retail cost is believed to have been over $2,100.
Charles L. Venable, "Tureen on stand," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Jay Gates (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1997), 248.
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