GIV-30 Crossed Keys Masonic Flask

Provenance: Sandor P. Fuss Collection

This museum example of a half-pint, olive-amber Crossed Keys Masonic flask is a significant piece that commands attention due to its rarity, symbology, and beauty. Listed in McKearin’s American Bottles & Flasks and Their Ancestry book, as the #8 most desirable flask on page 502.

On what is considered the front of the flask, you will see a large embossed five-pointed star with a convex center. Below the star is prominently positioned embossed crossed keys, hence the name of the flask.

The reverse of the flask has an embossed compass and a square enclosing a backward “G.” The square has lines to indicate the inch and half inch measurements. Three horizontal ribs surround the bottom of the flask and four horizontal ribs surround the flask below the neck.

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

Known colors are light amber, clear amber, golden amber, olive amber, and clear light olive-green. All are considered extremely rare.

The flask was probably made at the Coventry Glass Works in Coventry, Connecticut from 1815 to 1830.

Support Image: Lot: 41 Crossed Keys Masonic Historical Flask, probably Coventry Glass Works, Coventry, Connecticut, 1815-1830. Olive yellow, sheared mouth – pontil scar, half pint; (3/4 inch horizontal manufacturer’s hairline fissure between the two uppermost star points). GIV-30 One of the great Coventry bottles. Extremely rare, beautiful color, strong embossing. Ex Sam Laidacker, ex Edmund and Jayne Blaske collection #574, Warren “Bud” Lane collection. – Norman C. Heckler & Company Auction #100.

Support Image: Lot: 64 Crossed Keys And Star – Masonic Emblem Historical Flask, probably Coventry Glass Works, Coventry, Connecticut, 1820-1830. Light to medium olive-yellow, sheared mouth – pontil scar, half pint; (some light exterior wear on the compass and square). GIV-30 Extremely rare. Fine condition. Ex Paul Richards collection #173, Dr. Gary and Arlette Johnson collection. – Norman C. Heckler & Company Auction #133. Pictured above in window.

Support Image: Lot: 1 Crossed Keys And Star – Masonic Emblem Historical Flask, probably Coventry Glass Works, Coventry, Connecticut, 1815-1830. Medium yellow olive, sheared mouth – pontil scar, half pint; (just a hint of exterior high point wear). GIV-30, H #2865 and H color plate VII This iconic flask is extremely rare with five or six examples known. Fine condition. Ex Charles B. Gardner collection. A post auction addendum published following the Charles B. Gardner auction notes a minor flaw in this flask. Updated condition report: Fine condition with an internal iridescent manufacturing blemish 1/32 X 3/32” on upper neck under the mouth. The blemish can be viewed, in the photograph, directly above Charles Gardner’s neck label “160”. – Norman C. Heckler & Company Auction #187.

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