GII-48 • Eagle – Flag And “Coffin & Hay. / Hammonton” Historical Flask
GII – 48
Eagle – Flag And “Coffin & Hay. Hammonton”
Coffin & Hay Manufactory, Hammonton, New Jersey
Emerald Green Quart
Provenance: Michael George Collection
This outstanding example of a GII-48 quart Eagle – Flag and “Coffin & Hay Hammonton” flask was made in a beautiful emerald green glass. This could certainly be the best possible example in this condition and color. The provenance is ex Roy Brown.
On the obverse side of the flask, the design is on oval panels. There is a large embossed American Eagle with its head turned to right; wings partly raised and right wing foreshortened. There is a large shield with seven vertical and four horizontal bars on the breast. A thunderbolt of six arrows is in the eagle’s right talon while a large olive branch is in the left. There are fine sunrays surrounding the eagle’s head. The eagle stands on a plain double-line horizontal oval frame. All embossed copy is in a serifed typestyle.
The American eagle was chosen to decorate more flasks than any other single motif in the entire repertoire of flask design elements. It is not hard to understand why, as our young country used the American bald eagle as its emblem to signify strength, power, and sovereignty on the Great Seal of the United States.
The reverse of the flask depicts a large embossed United States flag with 19 stars furled on a standard. Above, in a semicircle, is the embossed copy ‘COFFIN & HAY.’ There is a period after the “Y.” Below the flag, in a semicircle, is embossed ‘HAMMONTON.’
The flask sides are vertically ribbed with a heavy medial rib. There is a plain lip and pontil mark. Glass colors reported by McKearin & Wilson are sapphire blue, dark amber, emerald green, citron, deep green, aquamarine, and olive-yellow.
The Hammonton Glass Works years of Bodine Coffin and Andrew Hay
William Coffin and his sons, especially William, Jr., either founded or were involved in eight New Jersey glasshouses. William Coffin, Sr., and Jonathan Haines erected the family’s first enterprise, a window-glass factory, at Hammonton, New Jersey, in 1817.
In the mid-1820s, William Coffin Sr. was the owner and operating the Hammonton Glass Works when his son William Coffin Jr. left to become a partner in the Millville glassworks in 1828. William Sr. continued to run the works until 1836 when he leased the works to his son Bodine Coffin and his son-in-law Andrew K. Hay who would operate Coffin & Hay glassworks from January of 1836 until November of 1838 when a disastrous fire destroyed the factory. Subsequently, the Coffin and Hay company was dissolved in November of 1839.
In 1839, Hay then moved to Winslow, New Jersey, and with William Coffin opened the Winslow Glass Works. Thus there were two Coffin & Hay partnerships representing two separate glassworks, but the Hammonton Glass Works ended its Coffin & Hay ownership in late 1838. Andrew Hay probably took the molds that survived the Hammonton fire and used them again at the Winslow plant. These were probably used until the molds wore out. The length of time would have depended on how often the molds were used and how many flasks were produced. This indicates that the date range for the Coffin & Hay flasks could have extended from 1836 to 1847 or even later.
See the museum example: GII-49 Eagle-Stag flask
See the museum example: GII-54 Eagle-Flag “For Our Country” flask
See the museum example: GII-55 Eagle-Grapes
Primary Image: GII-48, Eagle – Flag And “Coffin & Hay. Hammonton” Historical Flask imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio
Support: Reference to American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry by George S. and Helen McKearin, 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 Image: Auction Lot 48: Eagle – Flag And “Coffin & Hay. / Hammonton” Historical Flask, Coffin and Hay Manufactory, Hammonton, New Jersey, 1836-1847. Medium to deep bluish green, sheared mouth – tubular pontil scar, quart; (light exterior high point wear, 1/4 inch fire polished chip on edge of mouth, 1/2 inch surface bruise on edge of mouth has 1 1/4 inch crack running down the neck). GII-48 Although there are some condition problems, this is a very presentable flask with bold embossing. Glenn Quimby collection. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #177
Support Image: Auction Lot 36: Eagle – Flag And “Coffin & Hay. / Hammonton” Historical Flask, Coffin & Hay Manufactory, Hammonton, New Jersey, 1836-1847. Aquamarine, sheared mouth – pontil scar, quart; (1/4 inch manufacturing flake on side of mouth, light exterior high point wear). GII-48 A great piece of patriotic Americana. Fine condition. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #195
Support Image: Auction Lot 14: EAGLE – “COFFIN & HAY.” / FURLED FLAG / “HAMMONTON” Historical Flask, Coffin & Hay Glass Manufactory, Hammonton, NJ, 1838 – 1847. Rich, deep bluish green, sheared mouth – blowpipe pontil scar, Qt; (a little light wear including a shallow 1/8” flake on the edge of the shoulder panel, and a 5/8” fissure extending from the pontil, along the edge of the base, possibly in-manufacture, but does not show on display, otherwise very near mint). GII-48. An impressive flask, very strong color. – John Pastor, American Glass Gallery, Auction #34
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