This extremely rare cream jug belongs to a group of only six examples with scenic engraving, all by Jacob Hurd. Two are at the Yale University Art Gallery, one is at the Cleveland Museum of Art, another is at Bayou Bend, and two, including the present example, are in private collections. The decoration on all six is remarkably similar; each has three trefoil-shaped panels outlined by chased (repoussé) borders, and the scenes are rendered with a mixture of engraving and chasing. Three of the jugs have a coat-of-arms in the center panel, surmounted by a crest above a row of seven dots (as opposed to the heraldically correct six). The distinctive nature of this decoration indicates that they were engraved by the same hand, and indeed this group of scenic cream jugs is unique in American silver. (See Buhler & Hood, American Silver in the Yale University Art Gallery, 1970, cat. nos. 149 and 150; Phillip M. Johnston, Catalogue of American Silver: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1994, illus. p. 80; David B. Warren, et al., American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection, 1998, cat. no. M49, pp. 291-292.)
A coat-of-arms bearing the single charge of a crescent was used by a number of English families, including Farnham, Russell, and Bourne--all names associated with 18th-century Boston. However, without tinctures, the present arms are impossible to identify precisely. The Mott family, who emigrated from Essex in the 17th century, used the crescent arms in combination with the crest of an estoile as on the present cream-jug, although again we have no tinctures to confirm this attribution.