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Culture:Bohemian or German
Date Made:1790-1820
Type:Food Service
Materials:non-lead glass, gilding
Place Made:Bohemia or Germany
Measurements:overall: 6 x 3 3/4 in.; 15.24 x 9.525 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2002.31.1
Credit Line:Gift of Joseph Peter Spang in Memory of Mary Whitman Wells
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

This globular-shaped carafe has a flared lip over a pinched-in neck for ease of holding and a flat base; the body is cut with flat vertical facets at the neck with two bands of horizontal cross cuts, as well as shorter, narrower flutes at the base, top rim is ground flat, and the base is slightly domed with some mold roughness and a smoothly ground pontil mark, The carafe is decorated in a neoclassical style with gilding; top rim is banded in gold; at base of neck flutes are clovers over a meandering border of leaves within triangles; over floral swags interspersed with bows. The base has a gold-painted number "7." The carafe was owned by Mary "Mollie" Wells (1896-1975) of Deerfield (PVMA curator) and purchased by J. Peter Spang in the late 1960s at a tag sale given to benefit the First Church of Deerfield. Mary was the daughter of Lincoln B. Wells (1861-1943) and Abbie M. Wells (1865-1941) who owned the Wells homestead in the Wapping section of Deerfield. Much of this style of glass had been attributed to Henry William Stiegel's glassworks; however, America primarily relied on imported glass in the 17th and 18th centuries, and after the Revolution, German and Bohemian glass factories quickly found a large market here. Glassmakers in Bohemia and the German states used a lightweight, non-lead glass for their products, which was cheaper than similar English and Irish wares, despite higher transportation costs. Many were shipped through Hamburg, and thus were described as German. Tumblers and beakers begin to appear in Connecticut Valley estate inventories after the Revolution (usually two or more listed), many decorated with crudely engraved floral designs. These items were imported from New York and Boston by Connecticut Valley merchants beginning about 1770. Frederick Rhinelander (1743-1805), a New York ceramics and glass merchant, supplied Valley merchants with similar tumblers during the 1770s, and the Deerfield firm of Williams and Upham bought tumblers and wine glasses from Burling and Haviland of New York City in 1783. Similarly decorated carafes also appear in two illustrated glass catalogues dating around 1800 (now in the Winterthur Museum library), which were discovered on Gardiner's Island, New York, where they have a long history of ownership; the catalogues have 217 ink-and-wash illustrations of glass objects and chandeliers captioned in German. The catalogues were probably given to an American merchant by a German glass manufacturer or glasshouse agent; the name "Johannes Schiefner," a resident of Parchen, Bohemia, is inscribed on one of the accompanying price lists. Schiefner has been linked to an international export and commission business in 1805; one of his employees, Franz Anton Zahn, sold glass on commission for him from 1791-1793. There is no carafe form in the Gardiner's Island Trade Catalogue - although the gilt decoration is similar to the pattern on tumbler #155.

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