Manufacturer: Syracuse China
User: Puritan Hotel – Boston, Massachusetts
Date of examples: circa 1912 – 1919
Notes: The seven-story Puritan Hotel, at 388-390 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts, was built by boot and shoe manufacturer William Ball Rice. Mr. Rice died in May 1909, before the hotel opened. It opened November 1909 with about 200 bedrooms. The 31' by 52' main dining room seated 150 guests and was located behind the lobby. There were three private dining rooms, a breakfast room, and a maids and children's dining room. The Puritan was owned by the Rice family until 1947. On July 1, 1947, The Puritan was acquired by Abraham M. Sonnabend and became a Sonnabend Hotel Company property. In October 1951, it was combined with the adjoining Hotel Somerset, and both properties operated as the Somerset. The Somerset closed March 31, 1972. The building was then converted into apartments and offices.
Syracuse made 10 1/4" plates crested in the center of the well with a large brown and gray green illustration of a Puritan. This illustration is based on "The Puritan" a bronze statue by sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens. The statue was unveiled in 1887 in Springfield, Massachusetts. It depicts Deacon Samuel Chapin, who settled in Springfield in 1642. The blue border is flanked by coin gold pin lines. The impressed diamond back stamp date code indicates these plates were made between January 1912 and January 1919. The number on the known example is not clear enough to read.
Syracuse sample plates from around 1915 show two other versions of The Puritan statue crest, indicating that Syracuse made other china patterns for The Puritan.
Backbayhouses.org – hotel history
Boston Globe – January 31, 1909 – article about hotel under construction
Author and photos: Larry Paul