GI – 66 General Jackson / Eagle Portrait Flask

Provenance: Anonymous

We are extremely fortunate to have this medium yellow-green GI-66 General Jackson – Eagle pint flask in our museum collection. The color and condition is extraordinary. As a secondary image, we have posted a GI-66 in brilliant light yellow-green. Both are amazing examples.

This flask was produced in Pittsburgh at Stourbridge Flint Glass Works founded by John Robinson in 1823.

On the front of the flask, General Jackson, in uniform, is facing slightly left. “GENERAL JACKSON” is embossed in a horseshoe surrounding the bust of Jackson. On the reverse of the flask is an eagle with seven bars on the breast shield. The eagle has a laurel branch in its’ beak, three arrows (thunderbolts) in the left talon and an olive branch in the right talon.

“J.R”. is embossed in an oval frame below the eagle and “LAIRD. SC. PITTS.” is embossed in an upward arc below the oval frame. Above the eagle are nine stars.

The pint flask has a plain lip and a pontil mark.

Known colors are aqua which is very rare and yellow-green, olive-yellow, clear and clear with an amethyst tint. These colors are considered extremely rare.

The flask was probably produced between 1824 and 1828.

Read More: Heckler sells General Jackson Eagle Portrait Flask in Auction 90

John Robinson was an Englishman that gained his craft of Glassman in Stourbridge, England. Stourbridge was a major center for hundreds of years. The glass industry in Stourbridge was a major contributor to the local economy and a substantial contributor to Britain’s industrial strength and national wealth. It was from this beginning that John Robinson learned his craft and probably saw an opportunity in America that didn’t exist in England.  He opened his glasshouse located at the corner of Ross and Second Street, Pittsburgh in 1823. The business had much success with the locals and those going west. According to Pittsburg in the Year 1826, Stourbridge employed “18 glassblowers, decorators, and engravers whose yearly production was valued at $22,000.” By June of 1830, John had taken in a son into the business. According to advertisements, they were now J. Robinson and Son. It was J. Robinson and Son that opened a retail outlet in Cincinnati. It did business for about 3 years before closing. Sometime before 1834, John was no longer associated with the glass factory. His sons, John Jr. and Thomas were running the business. John may have retired from the business due to poor health since he died in 1835 or 1836.  It was now that J. and T. Robinson can be found on items.

Norman Heckler Sr. further states on their web site…“I was fascinated by the color of this bottle, in over 50 years in this business we have not had another bottle come forward in this color – and the impression and condition were also fantastic,” The consignor of the bottle first showed him a photograph of the flask while at an antique glass show in Ohio. The consignor and her parents had both been avid bottle collectors. Although she invited Hecklers to her house to view the bottle, she however declined the auction company’s invitation at the time to sell the bottle for her, saying she wanted to hang onto it as it reminded her of her father. “The photograph did not do this bottle justice – it was absolutely beautiful in person,” Norman Heckler, Sr. recalled. The consignor’s father had purchased the bottle, with her in 1971 from Ernie Burger, an antiques dealer, for the price of $41.80. According to the consignor several major collectors tried unsuccessfully to acquire the bottle over the years, with the late collector Edmund Blaske offering $750, and on another occasion, the bottle collector Roy Brown offering a new Cadillac.

Norman Heckler

Support Images:

“General Jackson.” And Bust – “J.R. / Laird. S.C. Pitt.” And Eagle Portrait Flask, John Robinson Manufacturers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 1820-1840. Brilliant yellow-green, inward rolled mouth – pontil scar, pint; (a reflection adjacent to a bubble at the interior of the base at the left side of the Jackson bust that occurred at the time of manufacture). Extremely rare mold in an extremely rare color, perhaps unique. Particularly strong embossing. This flask was purchased by the consignor’s father in 1971 from a Mr. Ernie Burger who had purchased the flask from a house in North Dayton, Ohio. The price was $41.80. As the years went by Edmund Blaske offered $750 and later Roy Brown offered a new Cadillac for the bottle. It has been in the family for the last 39 years and safely stored in a box. Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #90

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