GX-4 Cannon “General Taylor Never Surrenders” – “A Little More Grape Capt. Bragg” Flask

Provenance: Anonymous

When you take a moment to admire this historical flask you have to wonder why a proprietor would order flasks from a glass factory with so much embossed information and imagery. With no room for paper labels, we suppose you direct a message and tell a story with your glass.


A United States force of 5,000 under the command of General Zachary Taylor invaded Mexico during the Mexican-American War. A force of 20,000 under the command of Santa Anna moved to confront Taylor. It was written that Santa Anna’s force was poorly trained and not well-armed. Santa Anna sent a note to Taylor giving him a chance to surrender.

Taylor‘s reply was short,

It was in the heat of battle that General Taylor rode up to Captain Bragg’s artillery unit and ordered “A little more grape, Captain Bragg.” It has been reported that the quote was probably more like, “Give ‘em hell Captain!” but cleaned up for print in the newspapers to quote, “General Taylor Never Surrenders.”

Our exquisite example of a golden amber GX – 4 General Taylor Never Surrenders pint flask features an embossed cannon on what is considered the primary face of the flask. The flask also contains two quotes attributed to General Zachary Taylor during the war with Mexico at the Battle of Buena Vista on February 22nd and 23rd of 1847.

The cannon, on a two-wheel carriage, is pointed toward the lip of the flask while the ground is to the right. Fifteen cannonballs are stacked just to the left of the nearby wheel. The rammer leans against the cannon to the right of the rear wheel. A small building is in the foreground to the right. The typography “GENL TAYLOR NEVER SURRENDERS” is embossed in a horseshoe configuration around the cannon.

The reverse of the flask has embossed vines and grapes in a horseshoe configuration around the embossed quote reading, “A LITTLE MORE GRAPE CAPT BRAGG”. The “CAPT BRAGG” is in an arch toward the bottom of the flask.

The pint flask has a plain lip and pontil mark.

Known colors are aqua which is comparatively scarce. Dark emerald green, dark green, dark yellow-green, yellow amber, gold amber, dark amber and red amber are considered rare and olive green, apricot, puce, and dark amethyst is considered very rare.

The flask was probably made at the Baltimore Glass Works in Baltimore, Maryland between 1840 and 1860.

Support Images:

Auction Lot: 119 Cannon And “Genl Taylor Never Surrenders” – “A / Little / More / Grape / Capt Bragg” Historical Flask, probably Baltimore Glass Works, Baltimore, Maryland, 1830-1850. Deep fiery plum amethyst, sheared mouth – pontil scar, pint; (light exterior high point wear). GX-5 Detailed mold impression. Beautiful, rare mold, unlisted color. Fine condition. Norman C. Heckler & Company Auction

Auction Lot 24: Cannon And “Genl Taylor Never Surrenders” – “A / Little / More / Grape / Capt Bragg” Historical Flask, probably Baltimore Glass Works, Baltimore, Maryland, 1840-1860. Clear light green, sheared mouth – pontil scar, half pint; (mouth top edge has been finely ground, base edge has 3/4 inch pontil scar related chip). GX-6 A nice strong mold impression and beautiful color.

Lithograph: “A little more grape Capt. Bragg” – General Taylor at the Battle of Buena Vista, Feby 23d, 1847, N. Currier, New York, Lithographer, 152 Nassau St. cor of Spruce N.Y., Hand-colored lithograph; Print shows General Zachary Taylor on horseback, in midst of battle, pointing his sword toward artillery and says to “Capt. Bragg”, who is standing before him, “A little more grape.” The artillery is directed toward the left and the Mexican army is moving from left to right. Wounded soldiers are shown in the foreground; palm trees and the American Flag are on the right.

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