The Reed & Barton enameled pieces pictured here feature a variety of marks, including an “A inside a C” mark similar to Alexander Calder’s initialed signature. This mark, combined with the forms of certain bowls bearing it, have led many auction houses, dealers, and collectors to mistakenly attribute the pieces to Alexander Calder. In fact, they were created by John Prip (1922 – 2009), Reed & Barton’s Artist & Craftsman In Residence from 1957 until 1960. The apparent “AC” mark (actually “CA”) was introduced in 1945 to denote the use of a silverplated copper alloy and appears along with Reed & Barton’s date marks and other stamps.
John Prip was a master metalsmith — born in America, raised and trained in Denmark — who taught at Alfred University and established the BFA and MFA programs in jewelry and metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design. A retrospective exhibit of his work, which included jewelry, flatware, sculpture, tea sets in sterling and ebony, pewter work, copper, and more, was held at RISD in 1987 and the American Craft Museum in 1988.
References & Further Reading