This elegantly refined tea service, with its subtly hammered panels, ranks among the finest examples of American silver in the Arts & Crafts aesthetic. The inclusion of a tea caddy in the set suggests the tall pot, normally a coffee pot form, may have been pressed into duty serving alternately coffee or tea. The geometrically structured bodies, which recall similarly faceted modernist German and Austrian metalware, reflect Lebolt’s attempt to attract attention in the small but highly competitive market for progressive silver in Chicago. Strikingly modern yet retaining the sensibilities of handcrafted objects emblematic of the Arts & Crafts movement, this tea service is a rare example of innovative tablewares from the period around World War I, an increasingly conservative era in American design.
Label text (2005.51.1-5.A-B), North Gallery, current as of June 2015.