User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.


Start collecting

The raised vessel has a center point on bottom, a domed base with convex sides, and a small everted rim. The cast keyhole-style handle is soldered at a right angle to the rim.


"M * A" engraved in shaded roman letters on handle facing bowl. The Appleton crest, a pineapple on a torse, appears below initials. On base of porringer within dome is inscribed "H [cross] Gibbs / to / M [cross] A" in shaded roman capitals. Sources: Bolton, p. 5.


"IB" crowned in a shaped shield stamped on back of porringer handle, with a second fragementary strike inside bowl on center point. Ada Mark X


The porringer was purchased from Burt by Henry Gibbs (1668-1723) (Harvard College 1685), pastor of East Parish, Watertown, 1697, who married Mercy Greenough (1674/75-1716), the daughter of William Greenough about 1707. A largely matrilineal line of ownership to the donors can be established, beginning with its likely gift from the abovementioned Henry Gibbs to his daughter, Margaret (1699-1771), who married Rev. Nathaniel Appleton (1693-1784) (Harvard College 1712) of Cambridge in 1719. It may also have been given to commemorate the birth of his granddaughter, Margaret Appleton (1720-1768), who would marry Rev. Joshua Prentiss (c. 1719-1788) (Harvard College 1738) of Holliston, Massachusetts, in 1755. The porringer descended to their daughter, Margaret Prentiss (1759-1839), who married Rev. Timothy Dickinson (1761-1813) in 1789 of Holliston; to their son, Thomas Dickinson (1794-1844), and his wife Rhoda Adams (1794-1833), who were married in 1817; to their daughter, Annie (Nancy) Louisa Dickinson (1827-1912) of Holliston, Massachusetts, who married Henry Woods (1820-1901) of Barre in 1851; to their daughter, Helen Margarett Woods (1864-1941), who married David Rankin Craig (1854-1918) in 1891; to their son, James Wallace Craig (1893-1973), m. Margaret Crane (1897-1972) in 1927; to their daughter, the donor: Margaret Oliver Craig Locke (b. 1928). Sources: John Appleton, Monumental Memorials of the Appleton Family, (Boston, privately printed, Edward S. Coombs & Co., 1868), p. 18; Vital Records of Barre, Mass. to the end of 1849 (Worcester, Ma.: Franklin P. Rice, Publisher, 1903), p. 199; Vital Records of Holliston, Massachusetts (to the year 1850), (Boston: New England Historical Genealogical Society, 1908), p. 52, 127, 199, 259, 309-10, 344; Mrs. Mary Isabella Gozzaldi, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1877; Supplement & Index Comprising a Biographical and Genealogical Record of the Early Settlers and their Descendants (Cambridge, Ma.: The Cambridge Historical Society, 1930), p. 19; Hamilton Perkins Greenough, Some Descendants of Captain William Greenough of Boston, Massachusetts and Notes on Related Families (Santa Barbara, Ca.: privately printed, 1969), p. xxvi; Edward W. McGlenen, comp., Boston Marriages from 1700 to 1809, 1752-1809 (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1977); Dr. Elinor V. Smith, comp., Descendants of Nathaniel Dickenson, (, city.; Dickenson Family Association, 1978), p. 205, 223, 241; Dorothy Drinkwater Rees, Holliston Massachusetts 1724-1974, The Story of New England Town (Holliston, Ma.: Town of Holliston, 1974?), p. 52, 199, 259, 309, 344; Lucius Page, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1877, with a Genealogical Register (Boston: H. O. Houghton & Co., 1877, repr. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, Inc., 1986), pp. 482; 633; City Document #101, p. 10; Massachusetts Bureau of Vital Statistics, microfilm (James Craig Vol. 1, p. 51); death certificates (James Wallace Craig, Sr. (Vol. 65, p. 121); Margaret Crane Craig (Vol. 39, p. 330); Helen Margarett Craig (Vol. 10, p. 10); David Rankin Craig (Vol. 126, p 152); Annie L. Woods (Vol. 10, p. 697); Sibley's Harvard Class of 1685, Vol. 3, pp. 327-32; Sibley's Harvard Class of 1712, Vol. 5, pp. 599-605; Sibley's Harvard Class of 1738, Vol. 10, pp. 312-14; [Note to Ed: 1974 recorded as "?" in Eureka too]

Credit Line

Gift in memory of Helen and David Craig


Object Place

Boston, Massachusetts


Overall: 4.7 x 20.8 x 13.5 cm (1 7/8 x 8 3/16 x 5 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique





Silver hollowware