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Identification and Creation

Object Number
John Coney, American (Boston, MA 1655/56 - 1722 Boston, MA)
The Clarke/Cabott Tankard
Work Type
c. 1690-1710
Creation Place: North America, United States, Massachusetts, Boston
Persistent Link


Level 2, Room 2340, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, The Silver Cabinet: Art and Ritual, 1600–1850
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Physical Descriptions

21.6 × 14 cm, 2.1 lb. (8 1/2 × 5 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: on side, engraved: The Gift of Cabott / To the North Church in Salem / 1784
  • maker's mark: side, by handle: IC / + [in a heart shaped punch] [mark of John Coney]
  • maker's mark: cover, punched: IC / + [in a heart shaped punch] [mark of John Coney]
  • maker's mark: bottom, punched: IC / + [in a heart shaped punch] [mark of John Coney]


Recorded Ownership History
William Clarke (d. 1710), by descent; to his nephew, William Clarke (d. circa 1723) and Hannah (Appleton) Clarke, by descent; to their daughter, Elizabeth Clarke (1716-1785) and Francis Cabott, gift; to North Church, Salem, 1784-1924, transferred; to First Church in Salem, 1924, sold [through Christie's, New York, January 18, 2007, lot 62]; to Daniel Pollack, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2016

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Daniel A. Pollack and Susan F. Pollack, Harvard Classes of 1960 and 1964
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Tapering cylindrical form tankard with dolphin thumbpiece, cut card ornament, gadrooning, and deeply molded handle with cylindrical scroll. Raised dome and bud finial. Made around 1690 and presented to the church almost a century later, in 1784, this tankard exemplifies Boston’s late 17th-century Baroque style. The object is also distinguished by its fine engraving, which represents the arms of the Clarke family.

Publication History

  • E. Alfred Jones, The Old Silver of American Churches, National Society of Colonial Dames of America (Letchworth, England, 1913), p. 433
  • Hermann Frederick Clarke, John Coney, Silversmith, 1655-1722, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, 1932), cat. no. 101
  • Patricia E. Kane, Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers: A Biographical Dictionary based on the Notes of Francis Hill Bigelow & John Marshall Phillips, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, CT, 1998), p. 331
  • Early American Silver 1670-1820, Including the Darling Foundation Collection and Silver from the First Church in Salem, auct. cat., Christie's, New York (New York, January 18, 2007), pp.68-71, lot 62, repr. pp. 68-71
  • Laura Turner Igoe, "A Prize of Silver", Index Magazine, Harvard Art Museums ([e-journal], June 22, 2017),, repr.
  • "Harvard Art Museums Receive Important Gift of American Silver", Artfixdaily Artwire ([e-journal], March 22, 2022),, accessed March 24, 2022

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 2340 Cabinet Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 09/24/2019; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/25/2019 - 12/31/2024

Related Works

Verification Level

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