GX-28 Stoddard Flag Flask

Provenance: Anonymous

We previously looked at the museum example of a very rare, golden amber GX-27 Stoddard Flag pint. We are pleased now to present an even rarer, GX-28 Stoddard Flag half-pint in olive green. We’ve only seen this flask twice and both examples are represented in the museum.

Our half pint GX-28 Stoddard Flag is similar to the pint GX-27. On the primary face of the flask, the large embossed flag opens to the right with nine stripes and thirteen stars. The reverse embossed copy, placed in a horseshoe shape is ‘NEW GRANITE GLASS WORKS’ enclosing ‘STODDARD’ embossed in an arc with ‘N. H.’ embossed below.

The flask has a plain lip and pontil mark. It can be found in amber, olive-amber, and deep olive green glass. All examples of this flask are considered very rare.

New Granite Glass Works

Although they were unrelated, two different glass factories, both located at Stoddard, New Hampshire, had very similar names and made similar products. The Granite Glass Co. was the earlier of the two, existing from 1849 to 1862. The New Granite Glass Works followed from 1860 to 1871. Both made flasks that were the only products to bear their names. The link between the two was George Foster, who worked as a glass blower for the first firm and was the dominant force – with his brothers – in the ownership of the second one.

Located at Mill Village, New Hampshire, the New Granite Glass Works was run by the sons of Joseph Foster; George, Charles, Wallace, and Joseph who built the plant, but George was distinctly the leader. Although the timing of the opening is unclear, the plant was certainly operational on May 20, 1861, as noted in the initial payroll entry. The factory made a large variety of bottles and fruit jars as well as willow-covered demijohns.

Like its predecessor, the New Granite Glass Works did not identify the vast majority of its products, although it is noted for three flasks in pint and half-pint sizes embossed with its name and location. One pint and two half-pint flasks were embossed with the American flag and New Granite Glass Works, Stoddard, N.H. The flags appear in two configurations, one with nine stripes and thirteen stars; the other with thirteen stripes and sixteen stars. The nine-stripe variation was also made in a pint size.

Although the sources are unclear about the timing, the brothers sold the business to Charles B. Barrett sometime between 1864 and 1868. A liquor and tobacco salesman, Barrett made bottles to sell his products. The plant burned to the ground in 1871, and Barrett chose not to rebuild.

Support Image: GX-28 Stoddard Flag half-pint on the cover of American Glass Gallery, Auction #15, November 2015.

Support: Reference to The Granite Glass Companies by Bill Lockhart, Beau Schriever, Bill Lindsey, and Carol Serr

Primary Image: GX-28 Stoddard Flag flask imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

Support Images: Auction Lot 51: FLAG – “NEW GRANITE GLASS WORKS / STODDARD / N.H.” Historical Flask, 1860-1865. Medium to deep olive green, applied short tapered collar – smooth base, Pt, near mint; (1/8 iridescent bruise in the cover glass of a bubble on reverse). GX-28. Rare and desirable, this example has to be among the best in eye-appeal and character, the glass is loaded with seed bubbles and ½ pints are considerably rarer than the pints, and green ones are even better! Ex: Bob Mebane Collection. – John Pastor, American Glass Gallery, Auction #15, November 2015.

Support Image: Auction Lot 897: GX-28 STODDARD FLAG HISTORICAL FLASK, very deep olive green, sloping collared mouth-smooth base, half-pint. New Granite Glass Works, Stoddard, N.H., 1861 – 1871, The Edmund & Jayne Blaske Collection of American Historical Flasks, Cataloged by Norman C. Heckler for Skinner.

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

Support: Reference to The Edmund & Jayne Blake Collection of American Historical Flasks, Skinner 1983, Cataloged by Norman C. Heckler.

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