Jacob Hurd (American, 1702 or 1703–1758)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts


14.3 x 16.2 cm (5 5/8 x 6 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Amelia Peabody Gallery (Gallery 137)




Silver hollowware

The cann has a raised bulbous body on a splayed, drawn, molded foot. The flaring lip has a molded edge, and the scrolled seamed handle has a thumbgrip of midrib design. The handle is attached at the shoulder with an elongated drop and near the base with an oval disk. It has an oval terminus and a crescent-shaped air vent.

This Hurd cann is a fine example of domestic silver that came into a church through a congregant. According to the initials on the handle, Elizabeth Brooks, the donor, owned the cann at the time of her second marriage to Daniel Mansfield of Lynn, Massachusetts. She likely gave the vessel to the church sometime after 1760, the year she married her third husband, Ebenezer Brooks, of Medford, Massachusetts. Brooks was elected deacon of the nearby Medford church in 1759, and perhaps this cann served as a parting gift to her family church.

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.


Engraved "M/D*E/1746" on handle in roman letters. Script dedication in a later hand appears within a circular band on vessel opposite handle, and reads "The Gift / of / Elizabeth Brooks / To the / First Church of Christ / in/ Malden."


Surname mark "HURD" in small roman capitals within a rectangle to left of handle.


The donor, Elizabeth Sweetser (1697/98 – 1782), was the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Sprague) Sweetser of Mystic Side, Massachusetts, a region of Charlestown that was annexed to Malden in 1725.2 She m. Samuel Tufts (1697 – 1735) of Medford in 1723; Daniel Mansfield (1689/90 – 1758) of Lynn in 1735/36; and Ebenezer Brooks, yeoman of Medford (1697 – 1781), in 1760.3

1991, Gift of the First Church in Malden, Congregational. Engraved "M/D*E/1746" on handle in roman letters.

Credit Line

Gift of the First Church in Malden, Congregational