about 1817
Nathan Hobbs (about 1792–1868)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


8.5 x 5.8 cm (3 3/8 x 2 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View




Silver hollowware

The raised barrel-shaped beaker has a narrow gadrooned band at the foot and a lightly everted lip

Nathan Hobbs produced a body of silver that attests to his presence in the local community. His master remains unknown; he was listed as a jeweler, engraver, and silversmith in the Boston directories from 1816 to 1846. In addition to these three cups, during his career Hobbs produced ecclesiastical silver for the Church of Christ, Medford; First Congregational Society, Cohasset; and First Parish, Scituate.
Ephraim Eliot, the recipient of these cups, was the son of Andrew Eliot, who had graduated from Harvard College in 1737 and was ordained in 1742 at the New North Church in Boston. The elder Eliot was appointed president of Harvard College in 1773. It seems that Ephraim Eliot continued to serve the church in which his father was ordained. The cup was given in appreciation for his services as treasurer of the society.

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 in script on body of vessel, "The New North Religious Society / - to - / Ephraim Eliot / - Their Treasurer from 1794-1817 -" On bottom: "J.F.E. / 1827 / J.E. 1882 A.R.E. 1909"


"HOBBS" in rectangle and eagle facing right in serrated circle


Early history unknown.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Kathryn Holmes Yezek and Mrs. Nancy Holmes Maxfield in memory of Mary Reno Eliot and Alice Rebecca Eliot