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Flask with Masonic and Farmer's Arms Symbols
ca. 1825
Kensington Glass Works; Thomas W. Dyott
USA: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Glass, paper, ink
overall: 6-3/4"h x 4-1/2"w x 2"d
Special Acquisitions Fund
75.62.5

Glass flask with Farmer's Arms and Masonic symbols; one pint; mold blown; light aquamarine; sides vertically ribbed; tooled lip; obverse: two columns with arch formed by eight stones plus keystone, with 22 widely-spaced bricks forming mosaic pavement; within arch, "Farmer's Arms" sheaf of rye, pitchfork, shovel, rake, sickle, axe, and scythe; below pavement, elaborate scroll ornament; "KENSINGTON GLASS WORKS, PHILADELPHIA", around edge; reverse: full rigged frigate flying American flag, "FRANKLIN" in semi-circle beneath; "FREE TRADE AND SAILORS RIGHTS" around edge. Pontil mark at bottom, as well as a paper label that reads "G4-34/[possibly]"; at neck on reverse, paper label printed with "304".


In the early 1800s, Americans purchased thousands of flasks, like this one, to carry liquor. To make their products stand out in the marketplace, manufacturers of these inexpensive containers ornamented them with topical images. This flask bears a likeness of the USS Franklin. Built in 1815, this vessel was, when new, the largest ship in the American Navy and a source of pride for many. Masonic symbols adorn the flask’s other side.



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