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Biography (S) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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SADLER, JOHN (?-1789): Noted for his discovery in 1752 at Liverpool of the transfer-printing process of decorating earthenware, although, as is usual, some authorities refuse to give him credit for the invention. However, Sadler and his partner, Guy Green, continued that form of decoration for the potters of Liverpool and elsewhere for several years. Wedgwood was one of the Staffordshire potters to send quantities of his product in the biscuit state for decorating in that manner before being fired in the home kilns.

SANDERSON, ELIJAH (1751-1825): Cabinet-maker of Salem, Massachusetts. A good and active workman for many years. In partnership with his brother Jacob and Josiah Austin they made furniture in great variety. Some of it was sent on speculation for sale in southern states and in foreign ports. Occasionally other cabinet-makers of Salem and vicinity combined their products with those of the Sandersons. The ship captain was the salesman, and good profit sometimes resulted from these ventures.

SANDERSON, JACOB (1757-1810): Brother of Elijah Sanderson above. Also a good craftsman. He was a selectman of Salem in 1795.

SANDERSON, ROBERT (1608-1693): Silversmith born in England and settled in Boston about 1640. In 1652 he became a partner of John Hull (q.v.), and although Hull is given much of the credit for the silver made by the firm, Sanderson, who learned his trade in England, is entitled to his full share. The work of the firm consisted chiefly of beakers, standing cups, caudle cups and spoons. A tankard bearing only the mark of Sanderson is at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

SARGEANT, JACOB (1761-1843): Silversmith and clock-maker born in Mansfield, Connecticut. In 1788 he was doing business in Springfield, Massachusetts, and in 1796 at Hartford. At first, he made clocks with brass works, the cases for which were made for him. His later work was largely as a silversmith.

SAVERY, WILLIAM (1722-1787): Philadelphia cabinet-maker, ranked among the best of American craftsmen of the 18th century. His earlier furniture was of the simpler type, neither carved nor otherwise embellished, but his later work was fashioned in the style of Chippendale and of a surprising degree of excellence. Some of it may well be rated with that of Chippendale himself.

SEYMOUR, JOHN: Cabinet-maker of Boston active 1790 to 1810. Examples existing of his Sheraton-type work place him high in rank among the craftsmen of the period. Often used light-blue paint for interior of secretaries.

SHAW, GEORGE (1750-1792): Philadelphia cabinet-maker, whose business was continued by his son Alexander (?-1828). Two bureaus with labels of his son are on record.

SHEARER, THOMAS: English cabinet-maker whose work had many points of strong similarity to that of Hepplewhite and Sheraton. Neither surpassed him in the combination of daintiness and simplicity. Shear' er in one respect, however, stands clearly forth as the leader whom both followed. He was the one who began the development that resulted in the graceful sideboard with which the names of his two contemporaries became so prominently identified, and his sideboards compare favorably with any of those produced later by either Hepplewhite or Sheraton. Shearer made many different pieces of furniture, but he designed no chairs. His Designs for Household Furniture appeared in 1788, three years before Sheraton published his Drawing Book. He worked chiefly in mahogany and satinwood.

SHERATON, THOMAS (1751-1806): English cabinet-maker born at Stockton-on-Tees, where he remained until he went to London in 1790. Probably most of the furniture accredited to him was produced before his removal to London. His furniture was exquisite in shape, form, color and decoration. He delighted in inlays of rare woods and costly veneers; he used satinwood extensively and he was the champion and exponent of the straight line in furnituremaking. His originality is chiefly evident in his chair designs. Sheraton published his Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book first in 1791, and again in 1793 and in 1802. During the last decade of the 18th century and the earlier years of the 19th, Sheraton's influence dominated the style of English and, of course, of American furniture of the best type. Sheraton was also a drawing master and a zealous Baptist. He preached in chapels of that sect and issued various religious publications, but financially he was a failure. During his later years, owing to his various activities, perhaps, the high standard of his designs declined.

SKILLIN BROS. (JOHN and SIMEON): Boston. Prominent wood carvers last part of 18th century. Carved the capitals on the Bulfinch front of the State House.

SKINNER, JOHN (1763-1813): Pewterer at Boston.

SOLON, MARC LOUIS (1835-1913): Noted ceramic artist and author. Worked at the Sevres factory from 1862 to 1870. He then went to Minton's pottery at Stoke-on-Trent where he remained until 1904. He perfected the pate-sur-pate (q.v. PART 2) method of decoration to be seen on Minton ware. Solon was a talented designer and draughtsman, and he was the author of several books on pottery.

SOUMAINE, SAMUEL: Philadelphia silversmith of the middle 18th century.

SOUMAINE, SIMEON (1658-1750): New York silversmith and maker of many fine pieces.

SOWER, CHRISTOPHER (1693-?): Pennsylvania clock-maker from 1734 to 1750. He was born in Germany and came to Philadelphia in 1724. A very gifted man, an author, printer, paper - maker, doctor and farmer, besides becoming a clock-maker. On his clocks he spelled his name Souers, but in his more learned callings it was Sower. He was proficient in each of his various trades and he was the first to print and publish the Scriptures in this country.

SPODE, JOSIAH (1733-1797): The first of the three English potters of the same name is best known for his skill in under-glaze cream ware. After serving as an apprentice to Thomas Whieldon (q.v.) he began as a potter on Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. He was a great copyist and made black basalt, jasper and stoneware, printed and enameled wares. He had a leaning toward Oriental subjects in his blueprinted ware and was the first to use the "willow pattern" on earthenware.

SPODE, JOSIAH JR. (1754-1827): The younger Spode introduced color on earthenware and on porcelain such as never before had been attempted on Staffordshire products. About 1800 he discovered that bone-ash, added to the porcelain ingredients, produced a body resembling true porcelain and his formula has since been used by all English porcelain factories. He also produced in 1805 a superior quality of earthenware with a white, dense body, closely approximating porcelain, which he called "stone china." In his decorations of porcelain Spode copied the styles of Dresden, Chelsea, Nantgarw, Swansea and other factories, but honestly used his own mark.

SPODE, JOSIAH 3rd (?-1833): Succeeded Josiah, junior, as head of the Spode factory in 1827. Associated with him in the management was William T. Copeland, the son of the William Copeland who was a partner of Josiah Spode, junior, and at the death of Josiah, 3rd, control of the factory passed to William T. Copeland. He took as a partner Thomas Garrett and the business was conducted under that partnership name until 1847, after which it became "Copeland late Spode," for twenty years, and since, "W. T. Copeland and Sons."

SPRIMONT, NICHOLAS (1716-1771): A silversmith of London whose name was entered at Goldsmiths' Hall in 1742. He was also actively identified with the Chelsea porcelain factory from about 1750 as a designer or modeler. Afterwards he became owner of the works until, owing to ill health, he sold the factory in 1769.

STEVENSON, ANDREW: Staffordshire potter of Cobridge. But little is known of his history. His best work was done for the American market and is confined principally to views of New York City and environs. The borders of his ware are decorated with flower wreaths and scrolls. In 1819, he sold his works to James Clews (q.v.) although there is evidence that he continued work as a potter for some years after that.

STEVENSON, RALPH: Another potter at Cobridge, Staffordshire, whose early history has been completely lost, but about twenty of his designs have been identified and these are highly prized by collectors. Much of his work was done for the American market, decorated with views of New York and Boston and identified by the oak leaf, also vine leaf, and acorn border.

STIEGEL, HENRY WILLIAM (1729-1785): Called "Baron" Stiegel, largely at his own desire. Born (Heinrich Wilhelm) in Cologne, Germany, and came to Philadelphia in 1750 with his mother, a widow. He married in 1752, his first wife, Elizabeth Huber, the daughter of an iron manufacturer, and for a number of years was engaged in that business. In 1763 he started a glass-works for making window and bottle glass at Elizabeth Furnace, the site of the ironworks, but this factory was discontinued in 1765 when the new works started operation, a plant ten miles north which he had built and named Manheim. Stiegel brought skilled workmen from England and Germany and possibly from Italy. At first, this factory was also devoted chiefly to making bottles and window glass. In 1769 the plant was in full operation and his output, which was of superior quality, found a ready market in Philadelphia and in towns as far removed as New York and Boston. Stiegel glass was noted for its delicacy, its wonderful jewel-like colors and the beautiful designs. It was probably the most beautiful glass ever blown in the American colonies. He was the first American maker to attempt enameling on glass. Stiegel glass has been imitated by glass-makers ever since, and few collectors will now attribute any glass to Stiegel unless it is well authenticated. Owing to financial irregularities, which came to a head in 1774, his business was ruined and Stiegel died a poor man in 1785, perhaps largely due to his extravagant habits during the days of his prosperity. How he obtained the complimentary title of "Baron" is no mystery, as it was self-bestowed, but it was suited to the feudal luxury in which he lived before his failure. Noteworthy collections of Stiegel glass are to be seen at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia.

SYNG, PHILIP (1703-1789): The second of the name. His father Philip (1676-1739), born in Cork, Ireland, came to Philadelphia in 1714 where he engaged in business as a silversmith. The son continued the business and by his energy and marked ability he took the lead of the silversmiths of that town. He was cultured, well-to-do and a personal friend of Benjamin Franklin. Syng made the inkstand on the Speaker's desk in the State House at Philadelphia where the Continental Congress met, and into this inkstand John Hancock dipped his pen before making his immortal signature on the Declaration of Independence, the other members following suit. George Washington also used the same inkstand in signing the adopted copy of the Constitution in the same hall in 1787.