GXI-47 “For Pike’s Peak” and Prospector – Hunter Shooting Deer Flask

Provenance: Anonymous

This historical flask coincides with the 1859 gold rush to Colorado. It was probably blown at the Ravenna Glass Works in Ravenna, Ohio, and dates to around 1859 to 1864. Prospectors heading west, in search of gold, needed containers to hold their whiskey and the Ravenna Glass Works was only too happy to provide them with such. The fact that this flask depicts a prospector must have inspired the drinker of westward-bound travel and the hopeful discovery of a rich gold claim.

This GXI-47 quart flask in aquamarine is considered comparatively scarce but any colored example should be considered a real prize. This particular mold is also charted in clear green, medium to deep green, and clear amber. Basically, any color other than aquamarine should be deemed extremely rare.

This deep olive yellow-green example comes with a provenance of being dug from a privy outside of St. Louis, Missouri, and being auctioned on eBay. Quite an accomplishment considering the color and being found in perfect condition with no staining. All the flask needed was basically a good soap and water bath.

The obverse side of the flask depicts an embossed prospector standing and facing right. He is short with a long head with long hair wearing a flat-crowned and narrow-brimmed hat. He is wearing a short loose coat and tight trousers. He is holding in his right hand and rested on his shoulder, a short staff with his pack and tools at the end. There is a cane in his left hand. A straight-necked cylindrical bottle is hanging from a strap below the right arm. Above the prospector, in a semicircle and large letters, is embossed copy reading, ‘FOR PIKE’S PEAK.’

The reverse side of the flask depicts an embossed hunter on the left side of the flask face shooting a stag on the right. He is short, stocky, and has a large head with long hair. He is wearing a large hat with a slanting flat crown and wide brim, and a short loose coat with tight trousers. There is a straight-necked cylindrical bottle hanging from a strap, below the right arm. There is smoke rising from the gun held to the right of his shoulder. His left leg is straight while his right leg is forward and bent at the knee. The stag is facing right and pitching forward onto its knees.

The quart is round-ended and oblong in cross-section. The neck has straight mold beams to a long oval, deep with a small disk at one end and shallow at the other.

We have also pictured an extremely rare aquamarine GXI-47a which is only 28-ounces in size. The components of both sides are slightly different. It is reported that only three examples are known.

Primary Image: The “For Pike’s Peak” and Prospector – Hunter Shooting Deer imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

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

Support Images: Auction Lot 116: Prospector And “For Pike’s Peak” – Hunter Shooting Deer Historical Flask, America, 1860-1870. Aquamarine, applied mouth with ring – smooth base, quart. GXI-47a. Extremely rare and possibly unique in this 27 oz. capacity. Fine condition. Ex George Austin collection, ex Elvin Moody collection. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company

Support Images: Auction Lot 102: “For Pike’s Peak” And Prospector – Hunter Shooting Deer Historical Flask, possibly Ravenna Glass Works, Ravenna, Ohio, 1860-1875. Bluish aquamarine applied mouth with ring – smooth base, quart; (1 1/4 inch surface cooling fissure on base edge). GXI-47 Listed as comparatively scarce. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company

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