Hot water kettle and stand from the coffee and tea service for Rockledge
On View In:
Gallery 300
Artist:   George Washington Maher
Gorham & Co.
Spaulding & Company  
Title:   Hot water kettle and stand from the coffee and tea service for Rockledge  
Date:   c. 1912  
Medium:   Silver and ivory  
Dimensions:   12 5/8 x 8 3/4 x 6 5/8 in. (32.1 x 22.2 x 16.8 cm)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton in honor of Russell A. Plimpton  
Location:   Gallery 300  

The coffee and tea service that Maher designed for Rockledge illustrates his adherence to the progressive idea of a unified interior. Emblazoned on each piece, along with the King monogram, is the ubiquitous tiger lily, one of Maher's dominant motifs for the house. Every piece also has the trapezoidal dentils, or guttae, that Maher used as architectural detailing, notably on a balustrade in the front. The handle of the hot-water kettle echoes the flattened arch so prominent on Rockledge's exterior, thus linking the building's furnishings with its façade. Because King supported his architect's vision, Maher was able to have the silver service manufactured to the highest standards. It was custom-made by the Gorham Manufacturing Company as part of Gorham's exclusive "Martelé" line, which combined the popular Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles of the time with traditional silversmithing techniques. The visibly hand-hammered surface is characteristic of Arts and Crafts metalwork. The price from the retailer, Spaulding and Company of Chicago, was $1300. Serving pieces and flatware were produced to match. With its strong architectural presence and excellent design and craftsmanship, this service formed an integral part of one of the region's most progressive turn-of-the-century interiors. It is one of the only known examples of Prairie School silver.

Name:   Maher, George Washington  
Role:   Designer  
Nationality:   American  
Life Dates:   American, 1864-1926  
Name:   Gorham & Co.  
Role:   Manufacturer  
Life Dates:   Providence, Rhode Island, 1865-1967  
Name:   Spaulding & Company  
Role:   Retailer  

Object Description  
Classification:   Metalwork  
Physical Description:   designed for Rockledge, the E. L. King House, Homer, MN (demolished 1987)  
Creation Place:   North America, United States, , Rhode Island, Providence  
Accession #:   95.36.1a-c  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts