Pitkin Type Hat Whimsey
Pitkin Type Hat Whimsey
Possibly Pitkin Glass Works, Manchester, Connecticut
Dark Yellow Olive
Provenance: Richard S. Ciralli Collection
Our rare 2” tall Pitkin Type Hat Whimsey was probably blown from an unembossed Pitkin Type ink mold. The specimen was made in a rich dark yellow-olive glass and the base is pontiled. Beneath the brim of the hat is a rather thick applied string of glass. The example is from the Phil Liverant collection.
Free blown, dip molded, and pattern molded glass with very similar shapes and forms was produced at many early American and, in some cases, European glass factories, so it is not really possible to associate a particular Pitkin-type flask with the actual Pitkin Glass Works.
Whimsey glass, also known as “whimsy,” “whimsies,” “whimsy,” and “wimsies,” were end-of-day pieces made by glassmaking men and boys. It is usually a work that was created to demonstrate the glassmaker’s skill for no useful purpose, so named as it was made on a whim or was a whimsey of the glassmaker.
The name may also refer to the fanciful or whimsical style of much of this work. Glassmakers would make whimsies on their breaks or at the end of the day with any extra molten glass left in the pot. They would often bring the objects home to their families. It became one of the most sought-after styles of glass during the 19th-century, especially representations of boots, shoes, and hats, though this glass style was first recorded in 15th-century Germany. During the 19th century, its popularity was as a souvenir but also due to its display in trade exhibitions.
See the museum example: Snuff Attributed to Pitkin
See the museum example: Pitkin Chestnut
See the museum example: Pitkin Sugar Pot
Primary Image: Pitkin Type Hat Whimsey imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio
Support: Reference to American Glass by George S. and Helen McKearin, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, 1989.
Support: Reference to American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry by Helen McKearin and Kenneth M. Wilson, Crown Publishers, New York, 1978.
Support Images: Auction Lot 33: Pattern Molded Pitkin Type Glass Hat Whimsey, 36 ribs swirled to the left, probably Pitkin Glass Works, Manchester, Connecticut, 1783-1830. Cylindrical hat form fashioned from a Pitkin inkwell mold, medium yellow olive, tooled brim – pontil scar, ht. 2 1/2 inches, brim dia. 3 inches; (numerous cracks in side and base). LeeII plate 126, bottom right Extremely rare and desirable form. Dr. Paul S. Andreson collection. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #106
Support Images: Auction Lot 69: Freeblown Hat Whimsey, possibly Coventry Glass Works, Coventry, Connecticut, 1813-1848. Hat form bowl with drawn double ball knopf stem resting on an applied flat foot, medium yellow olive, tooled brim – pontil scar, ht. 2 3/4 inches, brim dia. 3 1/4 inches. Similar in construction to TH plate 59, #3 Probably used as a salt cellar. Extremely rare. Fine condition. Dr. Paul S. Andreson collection. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #106
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