Beaker Maker: Unknown

ca. 1680–90

American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

In 1634 the First Congregational Church of Ipswich, Massachusetts, became the twelfth church to be built on New England soil. Sunday observance and churchgoing were enforced by law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Toward the end of the seventeenth century, the general congregation began to take communion out in the pews, where beakers were passed among parishioners, as opposed to taking it one at a time from a chalice at the altar, as was done in Catholic and Anglican churches. This practice necessitated that Puritan churches have multiple communion vessels. Between about 1693 and 1730, parishioners gave or bequeathed the church in Ipswich money to acquire beakers to serve communion. Each beaker bore the donor’s name and occasionally the date of the gift. The Gallery owns eleven beakers from the church in Ipswich (see inv. nos. 1930.1183–1184 and 1930.1241–1249). This example was given to the church by Sarah Hall. Like much Puritan silver, the design of the beaker rejected the ostentatiousness of the Church of England and instead was modeled on a more humble domestic drinking form.




6 5/8 × 4 5/8 in. (16.8 × 11.7 cm, 338 g)
base: 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm)

Credit Line

Mabel Brady Garvan Collection

Accession Number



17th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Originally owned by Mrs. Sarah Hall; First Congregational Church, Ipswich, Mass.; Francis P. Garvan, New York, to 1930; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Kathryn C. Buhler and Graham Hood, American Silver in the Yale University Art Gallery, 2 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1970), vol. 1, p. 315, no. 543, ill
  • "Advertisement," Antiques 2 (November 1922), 196
  • E. Alfred Jones, The Old Silver of American Churches (Letchworth, England: National Society of Colonial Dames of America, 1913), 226, pl. 78, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

beakers (drinking vessels)


"CK", two pellets, with lozenge between, below, in shield on bottom


"The Gift of Mrs. Sarah Hall" engraved in script

Technical metadata and APIs


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