Air-Tight Fruit Jar Whimsey

Provenance: Jerry McCann collection

The museum is pleased to have on display this wonderful whimsey made from an Air-Tight Fruit Jar. What is extraordinary about this jar is that the glassmaker added a spout or mouth in the bunghole position of the jar form.

The Air-Tight Fruit Jar is a barrel-shaped, blown wax sealer with a groove formed by collapsing the bulbous neck while hot and worked upward to form the groove. The base has a high kick-up. The aqua jars are reported with a pontil scar on the base. Both aqua and amber jars are reported with a bare pontil scar. The jars were possibly made at the Ravenna Glass Works in Ravenna, Ohio in the 1850s.

Alice Creswick dated the Air-Tight Fruit Jar (with no noted kick-up) ca. 1855-1867, with the Ravenna Glass Works, Ravenna, Ohio, as the manufacturer. She gave no explanation for her choice; however, she illustrated similar jars made by Ravenna that were also marked Air-Tight Fruit Jar. An example is pictured above. The Ravenna jars are more cylindrical, while those made by Potter & Bodine tend to be more barrel-shaped (i.e., curved in at shoulder and heel, wider at the center of the body).

Support: Reference to Red Book #11, the Collector’s Guide to Old Fruit Jars by Douglas M. Leybourne, Jr. This includes the use of the Alice Creswick drawing.

Support: Auction Lot 63: “Air / Tight Fruit Jar”, possibly Ravenna Glass Works, Ravenna, Ohio, 1845-1860. Barrel form, light to medium blue green, applied wax seal mouth – iron pontil mark, quart; (3/8 inch by 1/4 inch chip has been filled with epoxy on the rough inner mouth). Norman C. Heckler & Company

Support: Example, Red Book #51-2, Air-Tight Fruit Jar, figural barrel, deep aqua, Iron Pontil, Quart, large crude applied mouth, nicely whittled, 100’s of tiny bubbles in the glass, a fine example of this scarce jar, America circa 1850 to 1870. GreatAntiqueBottles.com. Photography: Kathy Gray

Support: Example: Quart, deep aqua, grooved ring wax sealer mouth finish and comes with an early unmarked tin cap. Sparkling glass. Chips off the inner sheared lip. Strong embossing. Black iron pontil scar, 1850s. Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass

Support: Example: Pint, Deep rich Aqua, Grooved ring wax sealer mouth finish with a rough sheared inner lip. Sparkling glass. Edge flaking off the inner lip which is normal. Black iron pontil scar, 1850s. Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass

Support: The Bodine Glass Companies, Sha.org

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