Giv-34 Masonic – Frigate and “Franklin” Flask

Provenance: Anonymous

This outstanding specimen loaned to our museum represents one of the finest examples of a Masonic flask you will see. Besides the exciting color, the flask is full of interesting symbology and words that tell the story of the flask. This is why we call them historical flasks.

On what is considered the primary face, the emerald green pint flask has the embossed Masonic arch with keystone, columns, and widely spaced bricks. Between the columns is what is known as the “Farmer’s Arms”; an embossed sheaf of rye, pitchfork, shovel, rake, sickle, ax, and scythe. The sheaf of rye is diagonally displayed in the front with the tools behind. Below the bricks is an ornamental scroll design.

The reverse of the flask pictures an embossed, full-rigged frigate sailing to the right. An American flag is flying at the rear and a banner is flying from the mainmast. Waves are below the frigate and the inscription “FRANKLIN” is in an arc below the waves. On the edge nearest to the frigate is the embossed copy reading, “FREE TRADE AND SAILORS RIGHTS.” On the edge nearest to the Masonic symbols are additional embossed words reading “KENSINGTON GLASS WORKS PHILADELPHIA.”

The pint flask has a plain lip and pontil mark.

Known colors are aqua which is very common and pale-green which is common. Light blue-green is considered scarce; emerald green (yellow-tone) rare; and yellow-green, citron, and dark amber, very rare.

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