Flask in the Form of a Scroll

Possibly made by Adams and Company, Pittsburgh, 1851 - 1888

Geography:
Possibly made in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

Date:
1851-1870

Medium:
Non-lead glass (aqua)

Dimensions:
Height: 6 1/2 inches (16.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 114, American Art, first floor, Case 15, Historical, Figural Flasks & Bottles

Accession Number:
1938-23-168

Credit Line:
The George H. Lorimer Collection, 1938

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Early glass tableware produced in full-sized molds in the United States is today known as "blown-molded" glass. This type of glass -- created by a glassmaker blowing a gather of glass encased inside a mold -- was principally made in the New England area. The mold for this flask was made of either iron or steel and consisted of two pieces joined together with a hinge, which allowed the mold to be reused again and again.

The forms and decoration on figured flasks include a range of decorative motifs, Masonic symbols, historical and political figures, and pictorial groups. The variety of design and color represented on figured flasks is unparalleled in other categories of American blown-molded glass. Over eight hundred patterns have been recorded with decorations ranging in topic from portraits of American heroes and depictions of noteworthy events to unique designs notable for their variety.

This decorative flask is known as a scroll or violin flask. Introduced around 1830, the form was popular through the 1840s and 50s. Scroll flasks were primarily made in half-pint, pint, and quart sizes in a range of colors. The flask's packaging marketed its contents -- generally whiskey, beer, or cider.

This flask has an aquamarine color achieved by adding iron oxide and copper compounds to the molten glass, a plain, well-molded lip (or rim), and the letter "A" visible in the lower center.


* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.