Hartford County Serving Bottle or Table Decanter
Hartford County Serving Decanter
Probably Pitkin or Coventry Glass Works, East Hartford County, Connecticut
Yellow with Olive Tone Serving Bottle or Table Decanter
Provenance: Richard S. Ciralli Collection
Our gracefully shaped serving decanter was free-blown in a yellow with olive tone glass. Notice the interesting olive swirl originating near the base of the piece. The 9″ tall by 4 1/4″ wide decanter is attributed to one of the early East Hartford County glassworks such as Pitkin or Coventry. The pontiled decanter has a long neck, a flared and lightly rolled lip, and was probably made somewhere between 1805 and 1830.
There were five successful glasshouses in the eastern portion of the state of Connecticut. The earliest was the Pitkin family glassworks which originated in 1783 and closed about 1830. The others in order of organization were the Coventry Glass Works at Coventry; the Willington Glass Works at West Willington; the New London Glass Company Works at New London; and the factory of the Westford Glass Compony of Ashford. These Connecticut glasshouses were located in close vicinity of each other.
Our decanter example is from the estate of Jennie Cook Pitkin, wife of Wells Pitkin a descendant of the glassworks. Please reference the letter below from a longtime resident of Manchester, Connecticut which was initially obtained by New England antique and bottle dealer Ron Rainka on a house visit. All names related to the document were verified by the Manchester Historical Society and local historians.
“The two bottles were bought on May 29, 1975, from Mr. Charles Luce of Tolland, Connecticut. At the time they were owned by Mrs. Hanna Cook—who is Mr. Luce’s cousin. Mrs. Hanna Cook—a resident of South Street, Coventry, obtained the bottle from the estate of Mrs. Jennie Cook Pitkin, who was her sister. Mrs. Jennie Pitkin was the wife of Wells Pitkin of Manchester.
Jennie Cook, Hanna Cook, and one brother, Aaron Cook were born in and grew up in the old Cook home at Manchester Green. The family owned the gasoline station across the street and Mr. Luce managed it in the late 1930s. The Cook family also ran a small bottling company that bottled spring water which came from a spring behind the gasoline station.”
Note: the first bottle referenced above is a Pitkin Chestnut (left below) which is also on display in this museum gallery.
Primary Image: Hartford County Serving Decanter imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio
Support: Reference to American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry by Helen McKearin and Kenneth M. Wilson, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, 1978.
Support: Reference to American Glass by Helen McKearin and Kenneth M. Wilson, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, 1989.
Support: Reference to the Manchester Historical Society
Support: Reference to The Museum of Connecticut Glass
Support: Reference to My Visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to examine its Cross-Swirled Pitkin Flask by Dana Charlton-Zarro
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