Benjamin Burt ( American, 1729 - 1805 )

c. 1760
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General Description

In the 18th century, mugs and canns (mugs with bulbous bottoms) were widely used among wealthy Americans for ale drinking and in churches for Communion. This example (c. 1760) by the well-known Boston silversmith Benjamin Burt (1729-1805) is an excellent example of the form in American silver. Not only is the cann in fine condition, but it carries an engraved coat of arms of the highest quality.

Engraved on the handle are the initials JJ, believed to be those of John Jones, a Boston merchant. On the bottom of the cann are the initials JRA for John and Anne (Boutineau) Robinson, who were married in Boston October 5, 1969. Anne Boutineau was the niece of John Jones and the cann may have been a wedding gift to her. Robinson was one of five Commissioners of the American Board of Customs.

Excerpt from

Charles L. Venable, DMA unpublished material.

Web Resources

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Read more about Nineteenth-Century American Silver.