About this artwork
This wine cup is among the earliest and rarest examples of colonial American silver, made in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1660 by John Hull and Robert Sanderson. Born in England and raised in Boston, Hull was appointed mintmaster for the Colony in 1652, partnering then with Sanderson. The cup’s restrained style and lack of ornamentation express the Puritan values of early settlers. Commissioned by William Needham, later sexton of Old South Church in Boston, the vessel was used domestically—a decidedly uncommon possession even for an established family of the time. An inscription was added to the cup when Needham donated it to Braintree Church in 1688.
- John Hull
- Wine Cup
- c. 1660
- Engraved on body: The Gift of William Needham to Brantry Church, 1688 Scratched on bottom: 10-17 Marked at rim: IH and RS
- 17.2 × 9.2 × 9.4 cm (6 3/4 × 3 5/8 × 3 11/16 in.)
- Purchased with funds provided by the Antiquarian Society; Mary Swissler Oldberg Memorial Fund; purchased with funds provided by Samuel Mencoff and Jamee J. and Marshall Field; Mary Swissler Oldberg Fund; purchased with funds provided by Marilynn Thoma, Mrs. Herbert A. Vance, Erica C. Meyer, the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Illinois, and Jan and Tom Pavlovic