GXIII-75 • (Embossed Key)
GXIII – 75
Provenance: Chris Bubash Collection
This wonderful GXIII-75 pint aquamarine shoo-fly flask does not have any embossed copy but instead, proudly displays a pictorial embossed hollow-barrel skeleton key. The consignor says that his records indicate that he purchased the flask in 2015, his first official year collecting glass, from a seller in New England.
The large embossed key is placed at the center of the flask parallel to the sides which are plain. The reverse is blank. There is a wide bevel on each side of the mold seam. The flask mouth consists of a large round collar, with a lower bevel. A ring is centered on the neck. There is a small embossed circle at the center of a debossed circle on the smooth base. The flask is thought to have been blown at Lyndeborough Glass Works in New Hampshire and is certainly consistent with Lyndeborough production. McKearin & Wilson list the flask as common though it is probably safer to say scarce, at minimum.
See the Mark Newton Lyndeborough Glass Works Display at the 2013 FOHBC National Bottle Show in Manchester, NH.
The key symbol means so many things. It can be a symbol of personal knowledge, a key to unlocking inner strength and contentment. It can also symbolize virginity and virtue, two very important concepts in medieval and early modern times.
The emblem of the crossed keys represents the “Keys of Heaven” used in ecclesiastical heraldry, to represent the metaphorical keys of the office of Saint Peter, the keys of heaven, or the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.
See the Museum example of a GIV-30 Crossed Key and Star – Masonic Emblem flask.
Primary Image: GXIII-75 Key Shoo-Fly Flask imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio.
Support: Reference to American Bottles and Flasks and Their Ancestry by Helen McKearin and Kenneth M. Wilson, Crown Publishers, New York, 1978.
Support Image: Auction Lot 15755: Embossed Skeleton Key Pictorial Flask. Size: Pint, Color: Aquamarine, Mouth Finish: applied double ring collar. Appearance: dug condition untouched with light haze. Condition: no damage. Embossing: strong. Base: smooth. McKearin: GXIII-75 – Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass, December 2017
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