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Baptismal basin

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This large circular basin with center point has a raised dome at center, gently curving convex sides, and a wide brim with applied molding. The brim is engraved with the Byfield arms on a shield, which is surrounded by elaborate scrolled and swagged mantling.


Scratch weight of "27-5" appears on base; nineteenth-century metal disk with numeral "seven" is soldered to base.


At the center of the basin, above the center point is the touch "IHURD" in a scalloped cartouche.


First Church, Boston. Probably made from the bequest of Nathaniel Byfield (1653-1733), which arranged for "Twenty ounces of Good Silver" to both the Rev. Thomas Foxcroft and the Rev. Charles Chauncy, the ministers of the First Church, Boston. Owned continuously by the church until purchased by the Museum in 1999 with an anonymous gift.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously in honor of Jonathan L. Fairbanks


Object Place

Boston, Massachusetts


Overall: 7 x 34.1 cm, 0.84 kg (2 3/4 x 13 7/16 in., 1.85 lb.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique





Silver hollowware