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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Culture:Bohemian (probably)
Title:decanter
Date Made:1790-1820
Type:Food Service
Materials:non-lead glass
Place Made:Bohemia (probably)
Measurements:overall: 11 5/8 x 4 1/8 in.; 29.5275 x 10.4775 cm
Accession Number:  HD 59.189
Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. Helen Myers Curtis
1959-189T.jpg

Description:
Blown, colorless glass decanter with a flared mallet form with sloping shoulders, tapering neck with a tooled lip, and flat polished bottom, which came from the descendants of Dr. Stephen West Williams (1790-1855) of Deerfield, who married Harriet Taylor Goodhue (1799-1874) in 1818. Harriet was the daughter of Dr. Joseph Goodhue (1762-1849) who was a doctor at Fort Constitution, N.H., and moved to Deerfield by 1822. Stephen and Harriet had four children, one of whom, Dr. Edward Jenner Williams (1823-1881), studied medicine with his father and and then moved to Laona, Illinois, where he married Orilla Nancy Webster in 1856. Two of their three sons and their daughter lived to adulthood - Dr. Henry Smith Williams (1863-1943), Dr. Edward Huntington Williams (1868-1944), and Harriet Goodhue Williams Myers (1867-1949) who wrote a privately printed book (1945), "We Three, Henry, Eddie and Me: Henry Smith Williams, Edward Huntington Williams, Harriet Williams Myers." The donor, Helen Myers Curtis (and her sister, Neva Myers Brown), were the daughters of Harriet Williams Myers (see spectacle case, HD 64.168) and William Raymond Myers, and first cousins of Dorothy Williams Hartigan, the daugher of Henry Smith Williams and Florence Whitney Williams. Mrs. Curtis gave Historic Deerfield the following Williams/Goodhue family objects: copybook (HD 59.152), decanter (HD 59.189), candle mold (HD 59.192), botanical charts (HD 59.194.1-.4), trunk (HD 59.274.1), tea box (HD 59.300), work basket (HD 59.366), and linen rectangle (HD F.559). Mrs. Hartigan gave Historic Deerfield the following Williams/Goodhue family objects: Jeremiah Dummer silver tankard (HD 59.088), tooth extractor (HD 64.167), spectacle case (HD 64.168), silhouette of John Williams of Deerfield (HD 64.169), miniature portrait of a woman (HD 64.170), ivory box (HD 64.171), and two cardboard boxes (HD 64.172, 64.174). Decanters of this style were once attributed to John Frederick Amelung, whose factory was in New Bremen, Maryland, and went out of business in 1796; but the composition and style of engraving are very different from documented Amelung examples. Perhaps inspired by English and Irish glass but made in Bohemia for export abroad, these decanters were shipped in large quantities to America after the Treaty of Paris in 1783; many were shipped though Hamberg and were often described as "German." The decanter has light flutes extending down the neck to the shoulders; over a wheel-engraved band of small vertical, tightly packed flowers over swags with a stylized flower head in the center and tassels around the mid-section; over flutes around the base.

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