Watering Can

about 1910
Arthur Stone (American, born in England, 1847–1938)


Object Place: Gardner, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

30.3 x 16.2 x 32 cm (11 15/16 x 6 3/8 x 12 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

1991.744

Medium or Technique

Copper

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Metalwork

The rectangular vessel is made of hammered sheet copper. It has a flat base and top, soldered handles with faux rivets, and a seamed spout with tip attached at an angle.


The rich surface and beautifully balanced design elevate this copper watering can above its utilitarian function. Tapering from the top, the sides seem to bulge closer to the bottom, as if the pressure from the contents had reshaped the form. The strong handles with ornamental rivets and the carefully angled spout further attest to Stone’s masterful sense of line and proportion. Similar rivets were used in traditional colonial construction. Here they are purely decorative and do not penetrate the vessel’s body. This design is closely related to a miniature silver watering can advertised by J. P. Howard & Company, which Stone likely designed and produced during his partnership with the firm.

This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.

Inscription

None.

Markings

“Stone [with profile of incuse chasing hammer stamped across St]” struck on base.

Provenance

Arthur and Elizabeth Bent Stone estate to their companion Annie E. Priest; by descent to Stone’s cousin Alma Bent. Purchased from Bent for the Museum by Jonathan and Louisa Fairbanks.

Credit Line

Gift of Louisa and Jonathan Fairbanks