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Cann owned by Reverend Alexander McWhorter (1734–1807)

Object Name: Cann
Date: ca. 1750-1765
Related People:
Medium: Silver
Dimensions: Overall: 5 3/8 × 5 1/4 × 3 3/4 in., 13 oz (troy) 12 dwt (13.7 × 13.3 × 9.5 cm, 423 g)
Place made: New York
Description: Wrought silver cann; baluster-shaped body on a circular molded foot; plain, molded band applied around the rim; double-scroll handle with a scrolled acanthus leaf thumbpiece, lower terminus joins to a c-scroll joint; engraved on the front center, "M" in an oval reserve within a garland of wheat sheaves; maker's mark stamped on the base.
Credit Line: Gift of George C. McWhorter
Object Number: 1895.12
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Marks: Maker's mark stamped on base: "Myers" in script, conforming; engraved at center front "M" in script surrounded by scalloped oval frame and mantling of wheat husks

Gallery Label:

This cann belonged to Presbyterian minister and patriot Rev. Alexander McWhorter (1734-1807) who is remembered primarily as George Washington's chaplain. It is one of at least twenty-eight canns manufactured by Myer Myers known today. This cann was the first piece of domestic silver acquired by the New-York Historical Society.


Alexander McWhorter (1734-1807), who married Mary Cumming (ca. 1737-1807); to their son Alexander Cumming McWhorter (1771-1808), who married Phoebe Bruen (1771-1834); to their son George Hugh McWhorter (1795-1862), who married Margaret J. Lawrence (1797-1878); to their son George Cumming McWhorter (1822-1902), the donor.


Tinkham, Sandra Shaffer, ed. The Consolidated Catalog to The Index of American Design. Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1980.

Hofer, Margaret K. "Seventeenth-and eighteenth-century family silver." The Magazine Antiques 167 (2005): 156-160.


"An Exhibition of Works in Silver and Gold by Myer Myers," Brooklyn Museum, NY, February 2–March 15, 1954.

"Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York," New-York Historical Society, May 4–September 23, 2012.