The Kalo Shop was the most influential silversmith in 20th century Chicago. Its designs were commonly imitated by other metalcrafters, and many of its workers learned or polished their skills at Clara Welles's Shop and eventually started their own operations or product lines. Among these were Grant Wood (who started the Volund Crafts Shop with fellow Kalo worker Kristopher Haga), Yngve Olsson, Arne Myhre, Daniel Pedersen, Julius Randahl, Matthias Hanck, Esther Meacham, and Emery W. Todd.
Todd left the Kalo Shop around 1910, and joined with (Ms.) Clemencia C. Cosio to start the TC Shop (for Todd and Cosio). Cosio designed pieces that Todd executed. The TC Shop also commissioned Matthias Hanck to fabricate items for them. According to Chicago Metalsmiths, the TC Shop closed its doors in 1928. Cosio married, and became a salesperson for Knut Gustafson's Chicago Silver Company, while Todd taught jewelry-making at the Chicago Art Institute.
1917 Advertisement for Emery Todd in a Chicago Artists Guild Publication
Some of the firm's flatware resembles that made by Hanck. Their holloware clearly shows a Kalo influence -- the small fluted tray below is almost identical to those made by Falick Novick. Novick may actually have produced this, since he fashioned trays and bowls for Kalo and other makers. TC Shop work was generally done at the same high level as that of the better Chicago shops. Surfaces are hammered and the designs are clean and simple. Much of the flatware has distinctively pointed or coffin-corner handle ends.
The mixed-metal ladle below is the only TC Shop piece we've seen that incorporates copper. And the necklace below is the sole piece of TC Shop jewelry we've found. Some of their work was very distinctive -- we've never seen another pentagonal tray like the one shown here. And the Shop's monograms were often different from the formal, jewel-like ones of Kalo. They could be curvy (like this and this), geometric (like this), or whimsical (like this).
The TC Shop mark is an overlapping T and C, and appears sometimes alone, and sometimes with the words "HAND WROUGHT" and "CHICAGO." On some items the mark says "The [TC mark] Shop." Note that their mark is sometimes confused with the personal mark of Charles Thomae.
TC Shop mark:
TC Shop mark:
NOT TC SHOP
Charles Thomae mark:
It is interesting that so little jewelry from makers such as the TC Shop, Lebolt, Boyden, and Randahl has surfaced. These operations did produce jewelry along with holloware and flatware, and marked their output, but the pieces just aren't seen today. The rare necklace below is very typical of the early Arts & Crafts period. The form of the plaques, the use of small paperclip chains to join the larger elements, the pierced geometric design, and the use of bezel-set semiprecious stones are devices found in Kalo items from the same period.
Necklace, sterling with cameos. Three saw-pierced plaques connected with short lengths of paperclip chain
and centering oval bezel-set shell open-back cameos. The only TC Shop jewelry item we've seen.
Lower plaque: 1-3/8" H and 1-3/16" W. Chain: 14" L. Marked STERLING / [TC mark]
Most Arts & Crafts trays are round or oval. We've seen some that are rectangular, or octagonal, especially from Kalo. We even have a lovely 14" Porter Blanchard tray that is heart-shaped. But we've never come across a pentagonal tray like the one shown here. It's quite striking, especially with the lovely curving applied monogram at center.
Tray, pentagonal, with raised edges, applied M monogram at center. Very unusual.
9-1/8" W and 5/8" H. Marked: [TC mark] / CHICAGO / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING
Most Chicago silversmiths made a squat water pitcher. The version below is fine example, with a graceful bulbous design and high arching spout, and an elegant angular hollow handle that is a trademark TC Shop form.
Water pitcher, squat, bulbous form with flat bottom, hollow harp-shaped handle, wide angular spout.
6" H and 8-1/2" W. Marked: [TC mark] / CHICAGO / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING
We also see very little mixed metal from Arts & Crafts makers. The copper and silver serving spoon below is atypical, although we have spoons of similar form, with riveted handles, produced by Novick.
Ladle, large, mixed-metal. Long copper handle with curved end, riveted to wide silver
shovel-shaped bowl with three copper rivets. Good patina on the copper.
10-5/16" L and 2-13/16" W. Marked: [TC mark] / STERLING
TC Shop flatware often has diamond-shaped ends. Presumably some of these were made by Hanck, whose signed objects are of similar form.
Salad set, two pieces (2). Wide oval bowls with thin handles flaring out to wide pointed ends.
Small flanges at bottom of bowls. Saw pierced three-tine fork. Applied M on end of handle.
9-11/16" L and 2-5/8" W. [TC mark] / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING / CHICAGO
Serving fork with four lyre-shaped tines and wide arrow-shaped handle end. 8-3/16" L
and 1-13/16" W. Marked: STERLING / HAND WROUGHT / THE TC SHOP CHICAGO
Sauce ladles, with broad bowls and cut-corner handles, engraved "F" in Gothic style.
One 6" L and 1-13/16" W, the other 7" L and 2-1/4" W.
Marked: THE TC SHOP CHICAGO / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING
Ladle, oval bowl with two small pointed tabs at the back, curving handle, and wide
diamond-shaped end with applied K mono. 7-1/2" L and 2-3/4" W.
Marked: STERLING / HANDWROUGHT / THE [TC mark] SHOP CHICAGO
Tea strainers were a common item in the early part of the 20th century, when more people drank tea and before the universal convenience of teabags. The one here has typical diamond-shaped TC Shop / Hanck details.
Strainer, tea, with large rim, pointed handle and lip, rolled edge. 7-1/2" L and 3-1/4" W.
Marked: [TC mark] / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING CHICAGO
Many cigarette boxes of the period were heavily ornamented. But most Arts & Crafts boxes we've seen, like the one shown here, are intentionally plain.
Cigarette case, rectangular, hinged, with applied H mono on front, two arrow-shaped clips
with cutouts to hold cigarettes inside. Spring latch. Heavy. 4-7/16" L and 3" W and 1/2" H.
Marked: THE TC SHOP / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING
The two covered boxes below are fine little objects. Both are well made, and have snug lids after nearly a century of use. The soft hammering is especially nice.
Pillbox, covered, circular, with domed, hinged cover with applied "CCC"
in circle and small mirror inside cover. 1-1/2" W and 1" H.
Marked: TC / CHICAGO / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING
Box, covered, circular, with domed removable cover. 3-3/8" W and 1-3/8" H.
Marked: THE TC SHOP / CHICAGO / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING
Trays were particularly difficult to make, since the metal surface would sometimes not remain flat. Proper fashioning and a stiff edge helped, and masters such as Novick often created trays for various Chicago firms. The tray below looks like others with Novick's mark.
Tray, with five alternating small and large lobes. Very Kalo-like.
7-1/4" W and 5/8" H. Marked: [TC mark] / CHICAGO / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING
One mainstay for Chicago metalcrafters was silverware for infants and toddlers. The cup and porringer below are typical.
Child's cup, cylindrical, with square strap handle, applied wire to rim,
applied TRB mono in circle on side. 3-3/8" W across handle and 2-1/4" H.
Marked: THE TC SHOP / CHICAGO / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING
Porringer and matching underplate. Deep porringer with flaring sides, tab handle.
Applied wire to rim and applied circular ELS mono on both pieces.
Porringer: 7-3/16" W and 1-15/16" H. Plate: 7-3/8" round.
Marked: THE [TC mark] SHOP / CHICAGO / HAND WROUGHT / STERLING