Beaker

1744


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 14.1 x 9.4 cm, 0.31 kg (5 9/16 x 3 11/16 in., 0.68 lb.)

Accession Number

1973.22

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

inverted bell-shaped beaker has a flaring applied lip and a drawn stepped base, with applied foot rim.


The inverted bell- or tulip-shaped beaker, with its low center of gravity and broad base, was the successor to the squatter flat-bottomed tunns or beakers of the seventeenth century (see cat. no. 70). Such vessels were made in large quantities for Congregational churches and often assembled over years through gifts and bequests. Many churches owned at least two beakers, and often more, which were passed among the congregants to drink sacramental wine. Jacob Hurd made this beaker in 1744 through the legacy of deacon William Trowbridge. E. Alfred Jones speculated that it was remade from a silver tankard that Trowbridge had left to his wife, Sarah, but that cannot be proved. It was not until 1768 that a second beaker, made by Samuel Minott, joined this example in the church’s collection.

This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.

Inscription

"The Gift of / Deacon William Trowbridge / to / The Church of Christ / in / Newtown / 1744" is engraved below mark on body of vessel.

Markings

The mark "Hurd" in a shaped cartouche appears between the lip of beaker and the inscription.

Provenance

Deacon William Trowbridge (1684 – 1744) was the brother of Margaret Trowbridge (1666 – 1710), whose husband, Ebenezer Stone (1662/63 – 1754), gave the John Edwards tankard to the First Church in Newton (cat. no. 52). Trowbridge’s will, dated July 2, 1744, and proved January 7, 1744/45, included a bequest of £5 to be provided for poor widows in the congregation but made no specific mention of a gift of communion silver. 1973, gift of the First Church of Newton, Mass. to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of the First Church in Newton