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Culture:German or Bohemian
Title:case bottle
Date Made:1780-1820
Type:Food Service
Materials:colorless, non-lead glass
Place Made:Germany or Bohemia
Measurements:overall: 9 3/4 in x 4 1/2 in x 3 1/4 in; 24.765 cm x 11.43 cm x 8.255 cm
Accession Number:  HD 61.058
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Description:
Blown, colorless glass rectangular bottle with chamfered corners, decorated with wheel-engraved large tulips on the two long sides, two smaller floral sprigs on the two short sides, and a band of dots around the shoulder curves. The bottle has a flared, incurving neck, rounded shoulders with a ridge formed by a second gather, and a pontil mark on the base. The so-called half-post method, where the second gather of glass is clearly visible, is typical of Continental European production, and one which was brought to American factories by craftsmen who emigrated from Europe. Much of this style of glass had been attributed to Henry William Stiegal'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 tumblers 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.

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+61.058

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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