Collections › MESDA Collection › Beaker


Mead, Benjamin
Place Made:
Lancaster Kentucky United States of America
Date Made:
HOA: 3″; DIA: 2-7/8″ (at top)
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Silver beaker with applied triple band rim and banded base. Having a monogram on the body reading “MF”. Hallmark stamp on the base which reads, “B. MEAD”.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved with script intitials “MF” on side of body.

MARK: Struck on underside of base with intaglio “B•MEAD.” mark in a serrated rectangle reserve.

MAKER: The first notice of silversmith Benjamin Mead is a 4 October 1817 advertisement in the Kentucky Gazette: “B. Mead has commenced the WATCH & JEWELERY BUSINESS at Lancaster, Kentucky, and solicits patronage.” In 1820, he appeared in the census for Garrard Co., Kentucky and owned a lot in Lancaster. The census record placed Mead in the age category of 26-45; being the head of a family of six others including a female also in the 26-45 year category and three boys and two girls in the household from 16-25 years or from ten years or younger. In 1824, Mead sold a house and acreage that he used as a “factory for manufacturing castor oil” along with the machinery used to make the oil. There is no indication of his presence in Lancaster following the sale of this property. From notes by donor in accession file.

FORM: Small drinking cups were popular throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Earlier examples usually have handles while nineteenth-century examples often did not. Like most silver hollowware created after the late eighteenth century, beakers were most often made from a rolled sheet of silver and seamed vertically up the side, in contrast to earlier examples that were raised (hammered up) from a disc.

Credit Line:
Gift of Bob & Norma Noe, Wilmore, Kentucky