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Potter Studio, Arts & Crafts Hand-Carved White Jade & Brass Bookends, circa 1915


This pair of elegant bookends by the famous Potter Studio is a very bright example of an object in the pure Arts & Crafts movement tradition - the perfect rendering, the conciseness of design, the severity and the refined simplicity of the lines of the brass parts; as well as the use of contrasting romantic elements - in this case, beautifully hand-carved white jade medallions, depicting Paradise birds surrounded by flowers. Both bookends are in excellent antique condition: the brass parts have original intact patina with no scratches or imperfections; the hand-carved white jade medallions are in perfect condition with no brakes or cracks. Each of the bookends is hallmarked "Potter Studio" (please refer to the Potter Studio hallmark table below). Mark dates: H.E. Potter 1897-1907 Potter Shop 1908-1915 Potter Studio 1915-1924 Potter Studio, Inc. 1925-1928 Potter-Bentley Studios 1928-1933 Potter and Mellen 1933 - present Horace E. Potter (1873-1948) Horace Ephraim Potter was born into a prosperous Cleveland family in 1873…. Potter began his studies [at the Cleveland School of Art (CSA)] in 1894, graduating in June 1898…. After graduation from CSA, Potter embarked upon a year of study with Amy Sacker at the Cowles School of Art in Boston. Potter exhibited in [the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts'] second annual exhibition in Copley Hall in April 1899, and at the conclusion of his studies received a master's degree, specializing in metal¬work. Returning to Cleveland, he taught at the Cleveland School of Art from 1900 to 1909, giving classes in decorative design and historic ornament. While teaching, Potter established a studio in downtown Cleveland. In 1905 he moved to his family's farm on the edge of the city, converting a chicken coop where he and CSA classmates Wilhelmina Stephan and Ferdinand Burgdorff designed and made silver and jewelry…. Potter maintained strong ties with Boston, becoming a "craftsman" member of the Society of Arts and Crafts in 1907 and attaining master classification the following year. Potter spent four and a half months in England and Europe in the spring and summer of 1907, visiting Ashbee in August…. When Potter returned from his European trip in 1907, it was clear that his experience of Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft had confirmed his belief that the creative spirit was best nurtured when artists worked together. Moving to a series of locations on Euclid Avenue between 1910 and 1928, Potter expanded his space and founded Potter Studio. Potter may have been attempting to recreate the interdisciplinary atmosphere of Ashbee's guild by opening his premises to other artists as well. He employed fellow graduates and former students of the Cleveland School of Art, and welcomed artists in other mediums with lodging and studio space. R. Guy Cowan, the founder of Cowan Pottery, came to Cleveland in 1908 to establish a ceramics program at the city's innovative Technical High School. Potter became Cowan's landlord and supported his endeavors. Cowan founded his own business in 1913, but Potter purchased studio-made vessels as early as 1909 and embellished them with silver or pewter lids. Marrying fellow silversmith Florence Loomis in 1914, he went on to found Potter & Bentley Studios in 1928, and Potter & Mellen in 1933." In 1928, Gurdon W. Bentley and Potter became partners, moved the shop to its current location, and renamed it Potter Bentley Studios. The new shop expanded to sell items such as china and garden accessories. Bentley dissolved the partnership in 1933, and that year Louis Mellen joined the company, which was renamed to its present Potter and Mellen, Inc. Horace E. Potter died in 1948, and in 1967, Louis Mellen sold the firm to both Frederick Miller,a renowned designer & silversmith, and Jack Schlundt. Together both maintained the tradition of hand-wrought jewelry and hollowware. In 1989, Ellen Stirn Mavec purchased Potter and Mellen, Inc. which remains in its same location at 10405 Carnegie Avenue. Ellen has continued the tradition of excellence in craftsmanship by hiring only the finest jewelers to work in the studios, as well as highlighting gift-ware and antiques, her personal expertise.  


  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
    Good. We make our best effort to provide a fair and descriptive condition report. Please examine the photos attentively, as they are an integral part of the item description..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 5.5 in. x W 4 in. x D 7 in.

    H 13.97 cm x W 10.16 cm x D 17.78 cm

  • Seller location
    New York, NY
  • Reference number

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Located in New York, NY
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