Tankard Maker: Samuel Casey (American, 1723–1773)


American Decorative Arts

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

Ezra Stiles graduated from Yale College in 1746, was ordained in 1749, and served as a tutor at Yale until 1755, when he relocated to Rhode Island to become minister of the Second Congregational Church in Newport. Samuel Casey, a silversmith working in Little Rest (now Kingston), Rhode Island, made this tankard shortly after Stiles arrived from Connecticut. It was most likely paid for using monetary gifts from Stiles’s former students at Yale, as the inscription reads “EX DONO PUPILLORUM” (given by the students). The tankard is one of only three known pieces of tutorial plate associated with Yale, although multiple pieces associated with Harvard and Oxford Universities survive. (The other two Yale examples are also in the Gallery’s collection; see inv. nos. 1913.688 and 1986.71.1.1.) Stiles returned to New Haven in 1778 to become president of Yale College, a position he held until his death in 1795.




8 1/8 × 5 3/16 in. (20.6 × 13.2 cm, 857 g)
other (Lip): 4 1/16 in. (10.3 cm)

Credit Line

Yale University Art Gallery, Mabel Brady Garvan Collection

Accession Number



18th 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 Ezra Stiles; his great-great-granddaughter, Miss Louisa A. Wells, Cambridge, MA; gift in 1938 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 105, ill.
  • Barbara M. Ward and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds., Silver in American Life: Selections from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1979), 74, no. 39, ill.
  • 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, pp. 289–91, no. 482, ill.
  • John Marshall Phillips, Masterpieces of New England Silver, 1650–1800: An Exhibition Held June 18 through September 10, 1939, Gallery of Fine Arts, Yale University (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1939), 22–23, no. 23.
  • Rhode Island Tercentenary Exhibition, exh. cat. (Providence: Rhode Island School of Design Museum, 1936), no. 79.
  • George Munson Curtis and Florence Virginia Berger, American Church Silver of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1911), 22, no. 190.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



"S:CASEY" in rectangle on bottom

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