Overview

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A RARE SILVER BEAKER
PROPERTY OF OLD SOUTH CHURCH IN BOSTON
A RARE SILVER BEAKER

MARKS OF JOHN HULL AND ROBERT SANDERSON, BOSTON, CIRCA 1660-1675

Details
A RARE SILVER BEAKER
MARKS OF JOHN HULL AND ROBERT SANDERSON, BOSTON, CIRCA 1660-1675
Cylindrical with slightly flaring rim, later engraved on one side Property of the OLD SOUTH CHURCH, marked with Kane marks C under base
4 in. (10.2 cm.) high; 7 oz. 10 dwt. (238 gr.)
Literature
John H. Buck, Old Plate, Its Makers and Marks, 1903, p. 208
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, American Church Silver, 1911, p. 68, no. 581
Francis Hill Bigelow, Historic Silver of American Churches, 1913, p. 68
E. Alfred Jones, Old Silver of Europe and America, 1913, p. 52, illus. pl. XX
E. Alfred Jones, Old Silver of Europe and America, 1928, illus. p. 14
Herman F. Clarke, John Hull: A Builder of the Bay Colony, 1940, p. 206 (no. 4)
Patricia E. Kane, Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers, 1998, p. 569 and p. 884

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Lot Essay

John Hull (c.1624-1683) and Robert Sanderson (c.1608-1693), the first working silversmiths in North America, became the Colonies' first mint masters when the Massachusetts Bay Colony established a mint in 1652. In that year, they established a partnership producing silver objects as well as coins, most notably the famous "Pine Tree" shilling. Trained in England, Sanderson moved to America for religious reasons, while Hull was brought to Massachusetts as a boy by his staunchly Puritan parents in 1635.

King Charles II resented the coining of colonial currency, and "in great wrath questioned" Sir Thomas Temple (d. 1674), the first agent of the legislature of the Massachusetts colony to London (Some Events of Boston and Its Neighbors, 1917, p. 18). Sir Thomas also personally commissioned a silver dram cup from John Hull in 1673, at a cost of 8 shillings (John Hull's Ledger Books, Vol. I, p. 37V).

Only 31 surviving pieces of hollowware and six spoons survive from their 31-year partnership. For full biographies of Hull and Sanderson, and the list of their known surviving works, see Patricia E. Kane, Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers, 1998, pp. 567-572 and 882-886. An unrecorded miniature caudle cup was sold in These Rooms, 21 January 2010, lot 67.


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