Tankard

about 1704
John Noyes (American, 1674–1749)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

Overall: 15.6 x 12.9 cm (6 1/8 x 5 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

2003.784

Medium or Technique

Silver

On View

Manning House (Gallery LG36)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

Flat-topped tankard with slightly tapering sides; incised lines below molded rim; applied, molded baseband joined under handle; small centerpoint on lid and possibly on body; Stepped, flat cover has incised lines at edge and is shaped at front; five-part hinge with meander wire in molded hinge plates, with the lowest shaped on hollow scrolled handle; handle with long rattail at upper joint, cast cherub tip affixed over vent hole; corkscrew thumbpiece


John Noyes was the son of a minister and a member of the Third, or Old South, Church and later a founder of the Brattle Street Church. Less than thirty objects have survived bearing Noyes’s mark. However, his level of accomplishment is clear from the variety of forms he fashioned, including candlesticks, forks, beakers, and salvers. All demonstrated a high degree of skill in casting, decorative details, and finishing. This tankard is one of nine known examples; in each, the artist varied small details, such as the terminal and thumbpiece.
The tankard formed part of a gift of family silver presented to the Museum, which included a fork by Samuel Gray (2004.71) and eighteenth-century spoons by John Nelson (2004.73) of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Jonathan Trott (2004.72) of Boston.
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

Engraved "G / I * E" in shield on front opposite handle, surrounded by scrolled foliate mantling . Scratched on underside of lid: "I W" in capitals below "G Gardner" in script. and Scratched on bottom in script: "This Tankard belonged / to John Gardner Great Grand / father of Saml P. Gardner and / was probably made prior to the / year 1700"

Markings

Marked "I N" in an ellipse to left of handle and on top of lid.

Provenance

Probably made about 1704 at the time of the marriage of John Gardner (1681-1722) and Elizabeth (Weld) Gardner (b. 1681) of Salem, Massachusetts; by decent to Samuel P. Gardner; by descent to Clara Amory Coolidge (1872-1957); by descent to her graddaughter Catherine Coolidge Lastavica. (Accession date: Jan 21 2004 )

Credit Line

Gift of Catherine Coolidge Lastavica in memory of her great grandmother Elizabeth Gardner Amory and in honor of her cousin John Lowell Gardner