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Culture:Bohemian or German
Date Made:1790-1820
Type:Food Service
Materials:non-lead glass
Place Made:Bohemia or Germany
Measurements:overall: 3 3/4 x 3 in.
Accession Number:  HD 77.034
Credit Line:Mr. and Mrs. Hugh B. Vanderbilt Fund for Curatorial Acquisitions
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

One of two Bohemian blown glass tumbers wheel-engraved with a neoclassical design of swags, tassels, bands, and stars, and a fluted base, which descended in the Stebbins and Lathrop families of West Springfield, Mass. 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. Similarly decorated tumblers 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 had 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. A similar tumbler to this example can be seen in the Winterthur Portfolio p. 34, fig. 5.

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