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Culture:English
Title:wine bottle
Date Made:1767
Materials:dark olive-green bottle glass
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; probably London or Bristol
Measurements:overall: 9 1/4 in x 4 5/8 in; 23.495 cm x 11.7475 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2011.10
Credit Line:John W. and Christiana G.P. Batdorf Fund
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Description:
English mold-blown olive-amber or so-called "black" glass wine bottle decorated with a seal or glob of glass on side impressed with the stamp, "S / Colton / 1767." The bottle has straight sides and has been finished out of the mold by inflating and tooling; an elongated neck and applied string of glass to form the finish or rim of the bottle; a high kick to the base of the bottle; and a large pontil mark. The bottle was made for Longmeadow, Massachusetts, merchant Samuel Colton (1727-1784) who was one of the Valley's most successful and influential merchants. Twenty-five of his account books still exist in the Longmeadow Historical Society. Colton referenced these bottles in a note in the back of an old waste book: "Lent to Doct Sheldon 40 glass bottles with seal on them with letters S Colton Dat 1767." These bottles would have been a special order from a glasshouse in either Bristol or London. A special seal mold had to be created with his name on it. Sealed bottles usually cost about 1 1/2 times the cost of plain ones. Colton had a colorful life in Longmeadow and was the focus of some Revolutionary vigilante actitivity. Unlike many Massachusetts merchants, Colton continued to sell and in fact raised prices on West India goods in 1776. His Longmeadow neighbors dressed in blackened faces and Indian blankets broke into the Colton home and seized the merchants stores of molasses, rum, sugar, and salt, and carried it away. To Colton - his store was 'ransacked" and "plundered," but to the people of Longmeadow their raid represented an ethical response to Colton's lack of concern for the economic wellbeing of his community. Other examples of these bottles are owned by the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Corning Museum of Glass. Condition: There is a large amount of appropriate wear on the base of the bottle; ½ vertical crack on side, on lower right of bottle from seal (the crack is very difficult to see); and a scratch to the seal.

Label Text:
This English "black" glass wine bottle, one of a set of at least 40, was commissioned from a glasshouse in either Bristol or London. Longmeadow, Massachusetts, merchant Samuel Colton, one of the Connecticut Valley's most successful and influential men, owned this example. Such bottles contained a variety of alcoholic beverages for the table.

Colton led a colorful life in Longmeadow, and was the focus of Revolutionary vigilante activity. Unlike many Massachusetts merchants, Colton continued to sell West India goods and in fact raised prices on them in 1776. His Longmeadow neighbors, with blackened faces and dressed in Indian blankets, broke into the Colton home and seized the merchant’s stores of molasses, rum, sugar, and salt. In Colton’s view his store had been “ransacked” and “plundered,” but to the perpetrators the raid represented an ethical response to Colton's lack of concern for the economic wellbeing of his community.

2 Related Media Items

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