The engraved initials and names on the cup represent two centuries of ownership in the same family. The initials E over IS engraved on the handle are those of the Boston silversmith John Edwards (1671-1746) and his wife Sybil Newman (1670-1739) whom he married in 1694. The cup also is inscribed with the date of Edwards's death, 1746, when it passed to his son Joseph.
Joseph Edwards (1707-1777) married secondly Hepzibah Small in 1763. The initials HE to HS engraved on the front are those of Hepzibah Edwards to Hannah Smith, her grand-niece and close friend to whom Hepzibah left all her wearing apparel and whose husband, William Smith was named executor in her will.
The script monogram HS and date 1836 engraved under the base refer to the death of Hannah Smith.
The final engraved inscription refers to Hannah and William Smith's son, Thomas Carter Smith (d. 1880) who gave the cup to his grandson William Smith Townsend (1863-1935) upon his birth in 1863.
This cup is the earliest of three documented surviving objects made by Boston silversmith Samuel Haugh (1675/76-1717). Haugh was orphaned at a young age, and the diarist Samuel Sewall became his guardian. He helped Haugh find an apprenticeship with silversmith Thomas Savage. The other extant pieces are a spout cup and tablespoon, both dated circa 1710.