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Aviation Cups for Robert Jarvie
Purcell, Feick and Elmslie
Chicago, Illinois  1911

Text by William Gray Purcell
Parabiographies entry, Volume for 1911

Job Date (in Parabiographies): Summer of 1911


The first "Flying Machine Meet" was held in Chicago in September, 1911, and Robert Jarvie, the silversmith, was commissioned to make the cups which were to be used as awards. Jarvie was a fine craftsman but weak on design and he asked Mr. Elmslie to do them. Mr. Elmslie had previously been engaged by the University of Michigan Committee to design the silver loving cup and silver book cover which were presented to President Angell of the University of Michigan on his retirement, by the student body and professors. They are really sumptuous affairs. Kristian Schneider modeled richly ornamented handles for this Angell cup, after Mr. Elmslie's drawings. It was a brilliant piece of modeling in wax, and extremely difficult as the scale was exceedingly small and in George's richest lyricisms.

The Aviation Cups had to been done in a great hurry, and in making these cups we first came to be well acquainted with Gustav Weber who supplied the curtains and some furniture, rugs, etc., for the Powers House. George [made] the designs--I assisted in completing the drawings and pocheting them on grey cardboards, and Gustav snapped them up with color in guache. We worked all day Saturday and Sunday, and the job looked very professional and beautiful in color when finished.

I do not seem to remember what happened after that--whether Jarvie secured approval and made a cup or not. Jarvie was a general all-around and excellent craftsman and a very agreeable fellow. He later made some flat silver for us, worked up some rug ideas which were not any too successful, and made some furniture, notably an interesting little ultra modern desk for Mrs. William A. Dennis of Paris, Illinois.


   Collection: William Gray Purcell Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota [AR:B4d1.5]
research courtesy mark hammons