GI-17 “Washington” Taylor Portrait Flask

Provenance: Anonymous

The museum is very proud to have on display an extremely rare, olive green GI-17 Washington Taylor portrait flask that was made at Baltimore Glass Works in Maryland. There is some academic thought that the second portrait actually represents a young General Andrew Jackson.

Baltimore Glass Works produced some of the most prized historical flasks in antique bottle collecting was founded in 1800. One partner was John Amelung, son of the German immigrant who established the famous New Bremen Glass manufactory in Frederick County in about 1785. The name and ownership of Baltimore Glass Works varied over the years, but the firm made panes, jars, and bottles until about 1870 at its site between the harbor and the immense sand dune known as Federal Hill.

Our pint olive-green Washington Taylor portrait flask features General George Washington with his profile facing left. Washington is in uniform with an ornamental shoulder piece and has a braid of hair worn hanging at the back of the head. “WASHINGTON” is embossed in a semicircle above the bust.

The reverse of the flask has a profile of General Zachary Taylor facing left. Taylor is in uniform with an ornamental shoulder piece. Taylor’s uniform has a high collar. “BALTIMORE GLASS WORKS” is embossed in a horseshoe around the bust. It is interesting to note that when the mold maker cut the mold for this flask, he basically ran out of room for the letter ‘S’ in ‘GLASS’ and ‘WORKS.’

The pint flask has a plain lip and pontil mark and is fairly rare but when found comes in a variety of colors.

Known colors are aqua, light green, and pale yellow-green which are considered rare; emerald green, dark green, yellow-green, golden-yellow, yellow amber, olive-yellow, pale pinkish amethyst, lavender, and puce, very rare; and olive green and wine, extremely rare.

Primary Image: GI-17 Washington-Taylor flask imaged by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio by Alan DeMaison.

Support: Auction Lot 107: “WASHINGTON” / BUST OF WASHINGTON – “BALTIMORE GLASS WORKS” / BUST OF TAYLOR, (GI-17), Baltimore Glass Works, Baltimore, Maryland, ca. 1830 – 1835, medium shading to a deeper color yellowish copper color pint, open pontil, sheared and tooled lip. A nice example that rates as being comparatively scarce in aqua, but extremely rare in this unlisted and highly desirable color that has no auction record! – Glass Works Auction Premier Auction #149

Support Images: Auction Lot 56: “Washington” And Bust – “Baltimore Glass Work” And Taylor Bust Portrait Flask, Baltimore Glass Works, Baltimore, Maryland, 1830-1850. Bright green, sheared mouth – tubular pontil scar, pint. GI-17 Beautiful and rare color. Strong embossing. Ex Warren C. Lane, Jr. collection. – Norman C. Heckler & Company Auction #100

Support Images: Auction Lot 108: “Washington” And Bust – “Baltimore Glass Works” And Taylor Bust Portrait Flask, Baltimore Glass Works, Baltimore, Maryland, 1830-1850. Pale yellowish-green, sheared mouth – pontil scar, pint; (light exterior high point wear, shallow 1/8 inch flake on top edge of mouth). GI-17 A comparatively scarce flask with a crisp mold impression. Generally fine condition. – Norman C. Heckler & Company

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 Baltimore Beauties by Mark Vuono, Antique Bottle & Glass Collector, March 2012

Support: Reference to “Washington-Taylor” Flasks from River Bridge by Paul Vincent, Collections Assistant, Museum of the Albermarle – FOHBC Bottles and Extras, September – October 2018

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