Thomas Grant (1731–1804)
Object Place: Marblehead, Massachusetts
21.9 x 18.4 x 13.3 cm (8 5/8 x 7 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
The raised cylindrical vessel has a drawn molded foot, tapering sides, and a midband. A stepped domed lid with flame finial extends around edge of an applied rim; flange within; scrolled thumbpiece descends to five-part hinge. A short baluster drop below hinge is applied to seamed C-scroll handle. A long rounded drop is below the upper join of handle; elliptical disk and terminal appear at lower join; crescent-shaped air vent below. The lid does not seat properly on the rim.
The details of Thomas Grant’s silversmithing career are somewhat hazy. Silversmith John Touzell (about 1727 – 1785), of Salem, Massachusetts, may have been his master or employer. From Touzell, Grant apparently purchased chisels and a “Tea Spoone punch of your Large Size.” Although Grant’s estate included a “Small Goldsmiths Shop,” the silversmith owned a schooner that saw action in the Revolutionary War and may have been a source of income in peacetime. Grant produced several spoons and a few examples of hollowware, including casters and a pair of beakers also made for the Marblehead church. This is his only known tankard.
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.
On side of tankard, opposite handle is engraved "Belonging to yt. Church of Christ in M'Head / wherof ye. Revd. Mr. Storey is Pastor / 1773" in italics.
"T [pellet] GRANT" within a rectangle is stamped to left of handle and on bottom of tankard, above center punch.
Ada Mark * F3837 (body), * F3836 (base)
The Second Congregational Church in Marblehead, Massachusetts (later called the Unitarian Universalist Church in Marblehead) recorded “that there be a quart silver tankard purchased for the Communion table out of the Church Stock” on January 4, 1773; purchased by the MFA from the church in 1984.
Museum purchase with funds donated by a friend of the Department of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture and the Mary S. and Edward Jackson Holmes Fund