GXII-39 “Union / W. Frank & Sons Pitts.” and Clasped Hands – Cannon Flask

Provenance: Anonymous

This popular Civil War-era flask depicts images of clasped hands and a cannon. On what is considered the front of the flask depicts the ever-present Union clasped hands post Civil War motif. There are thirteen stars across the top above the word “UNION.” Below that are clasped hands and vines above an oval enclosing the words “WM FRANK & SONS PITTS.”

The reverse side of the flask shows a flagpole with the flag flying next to a cannon mounted on two wheels.

This pint GXII-39 flask was blown at the Wm. Frank & Sons Glass Works and dates circa. 1866. It varies from the typical Union – Clasped Hands flasks by having the embossed cannon which makes it a popular specimen among flask and history buff collectors.

The GXII-39 flask is available in shades of aquamarine, shaded ambers, light yellow-green and deep citron. This deep sapphire blue example appears to be one of the finest known examples among the four or five extant. The following factors in attributing it as the finest known are as follows: It is in perfect condition with a deeper blue color than the others; Several of the other examples are in imperfect condition and another perfect example lacks the bold mold impression of this example.

The provenance of this flask is interesting. It originally was in the collection of George Arthur from New York City who was a pioneer in the hobby and collected in the late 1920s and 1930s. The collection was inherited by his son who sold the entire collection in 1970.

William Frank & Sons, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Frankstown Glass Works produced this flask. The 1872 map above shows the location of the glass factory beside the Monongahela River.

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