John Hull (American, b. England, 1624–1683); Robert Sanderson, Sr. (American, b. England, ca. 1608–1693)
Overall 6 7/8 x 4 in. (17.5 x 10.2 cm)
Inscription: B / RA (pricked)
Promised Gift of Roy J. Zuckerberg (L.2008.22)
The bell-shaped bowl, baluster stem, and spreading foot of this wine cup epitomize the grace and purity of seventeenth-century Boston silver. It is one of only ten surviving wine cups marked by the earliest New England silversmiths, John Hull and Robert Sanderson. Both English born, Hull and Sanderson went on to train the next generation of silversmiths, thereby transferring centuries-old craft traditions to the New World. Like much early American church silver, this cup began life as a domestic vessel. It bears the delicately pricked initials B over R A for the original owners, Richard and Alice Brackett, who donated it to the Braintree Church, later the First Congregational Church of Quincy, Massachusetts, prior to their deaths in 1690.