Early American tankards, used for drinking beer or ale, survive in some quantity. Eighteenth-century Boston examples feature a tall tapered body, applied midband, and domed cover with finial. An inscription engraved on the handle of this tankard documents its presentation from the Salem sea captain and merchant Richard Derby to his son John on New Year’s Day 1763.
Inscription: engraved on handle in script: Rich[superscript "d" over ".."] Derby / to / John Derby / Jan[superscript "y" over period] 1 / 1763 / ~ scratched on underside: oz / 29 : 18
Marking: marked on body to right and left of handle near lip: BENJAMIN / BURT (in shaped surround)
John Derby, Salem, Massachusetts, from 1763; Charles K. Davis, Fairfield, Connecticut, until 1946