GII-75 Pantaloon Eagle – Cornucopia Flask

Provenance: Anonymous

On display is this tremendous example of an extremely rare amber GII-75 Eagle-Cornucopia flask. The flask is referred to as the “Pantaloon Eagle” due to the bulbous way the eagle’s legs are represented. The flask was made from 1820 to 1840 possibly at the Keene Marlboro Street Glass Works in Keene, New Hampshire.

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 chose the American bald eagle as its emblem to signify strength, power, and sovereignty on the Great Seal of the United States.

When looking at the McKearin and Wilson charts and their line drawing illustrations of eagles, you cannot help but notice varied renderings of the eagle from clumsy as on the GII-114 Double Eagle quart, to highly detailed as you might see on a GII-24 Double Eagle pint. Our “Pantaloon Eagle” looks almost prehistoric.

The cornucopia brimming with flowers or produce or both is an ancient motif used throughout time to symbolize prosperity and plenty. On historical flasks, the overflowing cornucopia certainly was a purely decorative element but also reminded one of our young country’s good prospects, especially in the first half of the 19th century.

The glass used on the GII-75 Eagle-Cornucopia flask mold is nearly twice as thick as most figured flasks making it somewhat heavy. The flask was produced at an unknown New England glassworks though most contemporary collectors attribute the flask to the Keene Marlboro Street Glass Works in Keene, New Hampshire.

The obverse side of the glass flask pictures a large embossed American eagle with the head turned to the right. The shield on the breast has three vertical bars and the wings are slightly raised. The full front view of the legs with ruffled feathers gives a balloon-shaped appearance to the legs. The eagle is perched on a semi-spherical plain rock.

The reverse of the flask has a large embossed cornucopia filled with fruit opening up and the bottom of the cornucopia is coiled to the left.

The flask has a plain lip and pontil mark while the edge is vertically ribbed. Known colors are green, pale yellow-green, olive amber, and olive green. All are considered extremely rare.

Primary Image: GII-75 Pantaloon Eagle-Cornucopia flask imaged by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio by Alan DeMaison.

Support Images: Auction Lot 45: Eagle – Cornucopia Historical Flask, New England, 1820-1840. Medium olive amber, sheared mouth – pontil scar, pint; (light exterior high point wear, 1/8 inch chip on edge of mouth). GII-75. Commonly known as the “Pantaloon Eagle”. Generally fine condition. Ex Edmund and Jayne Blaske collection, Robert and Janice Weekes collection. – Norman Heckler, Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #167

Support: Reference to American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry by Helen McKearin and Kenneth M. Wilson, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, 1978.

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