Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

Pitkin Flask, Early American Glass

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 26, 2014

The American Pitkin Flask

Pitkin Flask: Small bottle of green glass in an ovoid and flattened shape made by the “Half-Post Method”. In this method a gather of glass called a post is put back in the POT and a second gather is put on it so it covers about half of the post. It is then put in a vertical ribbed pattern mold and partly expanded and removed from the mold then swirled right or left. Also there are types in which the ribs are left it the vertical position. In the case of the popcorn Pitkin it is put in the mold a second time vertical ribs are put over swirled ribs call a broken swirl double pattern. Then the flask is expanded to the ovoid and flattened shape.

Originally these flasks were made in The Pitkin Glass Works in Manchester,CT (1788-1830).They were made later in other parts of New England and in the Midwest (e. g. Zanesville, Ohio 1810-1830).Today they are classified as being New England Pitkins or Midwestern Pitkins. You can usually tell the difference by counting the ribs. The New England is 36 ribs and Midwestern 16 ribs. In addition to various shades of green they can be found in amber, blue (rare), amethyst (rare) and colorless glass. The flask came in two main sizes half pint and pint, used as a pocket flask for whiskey.

Ref: Spillman II #46

pitkins Rear row A8MW A39MW A7NE Front row A19MW A43NE

Front row A 19, A 43, Rear row A8, A39, A7

Roman Iridescent Glass Beaker

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on April 23, 2014


The simple shape of this vessel resembles our modern drinking glasses. It is pale blue/green with iridescence. The exterior is decorated with faint wheel cut bands: three parallel lines around the center, one band near the base. This beaker has a ground rim and flattened base. The  beauty of this cup is in the natural iridescence which has formed on it.  Beaker is intact. What is iridescence?

Iridescent Glass

Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow, lends her name to the word iridescence a lustrous, rainbow-like play of color. Iridescence was admired by modern glassmakers but was not an intentional effect made by ancient artisans. The effect was found on pieces of ancient glass where burial conditions caused alkali (soluble salt) to leach from the glass and form layers that eventually separate and flake off. The remaining surface layers reflect light differently, resulting in an iridescent appearance. see Corning Museum of Glass


Date: First Century A.D.

H: 9.3 cm. Rim D: 6.5 cm.

Cf. Auth 1976 #368 (The Newark Museum)


02R Roman beaker with wheel cut lines

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