Jurian Blanck Jr.’s surviving work comprises the earliest known silver made in New York. While his father is recorded as working in New Amsterdam as early as 1643, no pieces exist that can be ascribed to his hand. Therefore Jurian Blanck, Jr., baptized in 1645, is considered New York’s first silversmith. The cast handles on this caudle cup, with their caryatids above auricular ornament, reflect very literally the Dutch origins of New York’s first generation of silversmiths (Deborah Dependahl Waters, Elegant Plate: Three Centuries of Precious Metals in New York City, 2000, p. 15).
John Crook was a successful cooper and landowner in New York City. He was associated with a group of wealthy New Yorkers who opposed Jacob Leisler’s populist rebellion in 1689-91. An altercation between Crook and Leisler took place on June 8, 1690 when a group confronted Leisler and “Jno Crook strooke a full blow with his cooper’s adz, … and truck him on the chest. Leisler drew his sword and made his way through the crowd” (Roderic H. Blackburn and Ruth Piwonka, Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776, 1988, p. 287).