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American Decorative Arts
Maker: John Burt, American, 1692–1745

Baptismal Basin



3 1/16 × 12 5/8 in. (7.8 × 32.1 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
This baptismal basin was made for the First Parish Church in Charlestown, Massachusetts, by the Boston silversmith John Burt. It was funded by Henry Phillips (died 1729), and its dedicatory engraving records that Phillips presented it to the church on May 1, 1726.
Made in Boston, Massachusetts
On view
18th century
Containers - Metals

Originally owned by Henry Phillips; First Parish Church, Charlestown, Mass.; I. Sack, Boston; Francis P. Garvan, New York (1926); gift in 1930 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


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), 18, no. 153, pl.6, ill.

E. Alfred Jones, The Old Silver of American Churches (Letchworth, England: National Society of Colonial Dames of America, 1913), 123–24, pl. 48, 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), 20–21, no. 17.

Kathryn C. Buhler, French, English, and American Silver, exh. cat. (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1956), 71, no. 183.

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. 97, no. 110, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 103, ill.

Patricia E. Kane, Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1998), 249.

Melanie B. Smallie, “Isle of Mystery and Promise,” Letting Go: Living without a Net 11 (2004): IX–XII, ill.

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 such records is ongoing.