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Plate

1950–1954
Julius O. Randahl (about 1880–1972)


Object Place: Skokie, Illinois, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 2 x 30.5 cm (13/16 x 12 in.)

Accession Number

1982.452

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

This is a circular, flat-bottomed tray with a raised 5-lobed rim with a rolled edge


In 1911 Swedish immigrant Julius Randahl (1880 – 1972) founded The Randahl Company, one of the largest and best-known metalwork firms in Chicago. A skilled silversmith, Randahl was also a successful entrepreneur, developing a national distribution network that sold to distant retailers, such as Shreve, Crump & Low of Boston, as well as locally through Marshall Field’s. He received wide recognition in 1937 for the silverwares he included in the “Exhibition of Contemporary and Handwrought Silver” at the Brooklyn Museum. Later that year he won a silver medal in Paris at the Exposition International des Arts et Techniques for a silver centerpiece and pair of candlesticks.
A stock item, this model was identified as “318/12 Hand Wrought Waiter” in company records; it was available in at least four sizes. In 1965 the retail cost for a twelve-inch waiter of this design was listed as $125. Randahl took advantage of all means to increase production and satisfy demand while realizing a considerable profit. He employed modern machinery and an army of specialized workmen, including skilled silversmiths, spinners, and polishers. Randahl’s sons, Julius Jr. and F. Scott Randahl, sold their silver business to Reed & Barton, which established the Randahl Division in 1965.

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

CV with circular border in center

Markings

“RANDAHL / STERLING / 318 / 12 IN” struck incuse on bottom. “H – 11 – 166 M E W O – A W V E X.” scratched on bottom, near edge.

Provenance

1954, Purchased from Shreve, Crump and Low. 1954, Gift to Celia Vandermark on occasion of her retirement from the MFA to marry Mason Scudder(1894 – 1971) of St. Louis; September 15, 1982, gift of Mrs. Scudder to MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Mason Scudder