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American Decorative Arts
Maker: Robert Bonynge, American, active. ca. 1731–63

Set of Two Beakers

ca. 1731–63


5 1/4 × 3 5/8 in. (13.34 × 9.21 cm)
Gift of Mary E. Dwight
Made in Boston, Massachusetts
On view*
18th century
Containers - Metals

The beakers were presented to the University as "relics" that had descended from the Reverend Timothy Dwight (1752-1817), fourth president of Yale College. The donor, however, was a direct descendant of the Reverend Josiah Dwight (1671-1748), a graduate of Harvard whose progeny settled in Massachusetts and had no connections with Yale. None of Mary Dwight's ancestors were born or married in 1740. It is possible that Josiah Dwight purchased these beakers when he was rector of the First Church of Dedham, Massachusetts, between 1735 and 1740 (Benjamin W, Dwight, The History of the Descendents of John Dwight, of Dedham Massachusetts, 2 vols. [New York: John F. Trow and Son, 1874], 1:492-96). More recently, the beakers were among a group of family objects that were taken West at the turn of the century by the donor's father, Daniel H. Dwight (born 1862.) When she offered these heirlooms to Yale in 1964, Miss Dwight wrote from Spokane, Washington, "It seems to me that they belong in New England among their own people where their history and associations are known" (Mary E. Dwight to Kingman Brewster, 21 March 1964, Records of the Librarian, Manuscripts and Archives Division, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University.) Gift in 1965 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


“In the Museums,” Antiques 88, no. 2 (August 1965): 226, 228, ill.

Ledlie I. Laughlin, Pewter in America: Its Makers and Their Marks, Volume III (Barre, Mass.: Barre Publishers, 1971), 36–38.

Charles F. Montgomery and Patricia E. Kane, eds., American Art: 1750–1800 Towards Independence, exh. cat. (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976), 227, fig. 198.

David L. Barquist, American and English Pewter at the Yale University Art Gallery: A Supplementary Checklist (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1985), 26–27, 75, no. 205, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 114, 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.