Air-Tight Fruit Jar

Provenance: Darrell Plank Collection

Here is an excellent example of a blown wax sealer Air-Tight Fruit Jar that was possibly made at Ravenna Glass Company in Ohio in the late 1850s. It is figural in form, pontiled, amber in color, and side-embossed.

These jars, typically found in aqua, were embossed AIR-TIGHT FRUIT JAR across the center space of the front of the jar between two embossed 3-ring hoops but had no embossed firm or glasshouse name like other museum examples such as the RAVENNA GLASS WORKS and POTTER & BODINE jars (coming soon). See museum example of a Ravena Glass Works Ohio Air-Tight Fruit Jar.

Our museum example is exciting for a couple of reasons. For one, it is actually about a quart and a half in size and it is one of the first, if not the first amber side-embossed jars. The barrel form is one of, if not the first, figurative jars along with the Ladies Favorite. There are thought to be only a handful in collections, maybe 5 or 6. This example came from the legendary Alex Kerr collection. Most examples come with a rough inner channel but all the amber examples have a fire-polished inner lip.

See an Air Tight Fruit Jar Whimsey on an adjacenct museum shelf.

It is thought that these jars might have been the first of a series produced by the Ravenna Glass Company based on two major characteristics. First, the method of manufacture was essentially identical to other Ravenna jars. Also, the Air-Tight Fruit Jar name is embossed at the center of the jar, which is identical to the one on the reverse sides of one variation of the Ravenna jars embossed RAVENNA GLASS WORKS OHIO on the front. The letters are the same size and typestyle font on each jar.

Jar authorities report that Ravenna jars are more cylindrical in form, while those made by Potter & Bodine tend to be more barrel-shaped. The mouth or opening on these types of jars has a groove that was formed by collapsing the bulbous neck while hot and working it upward to form the groove. There usually is an iron pontil. Quarts are reported in aqua, green aqua, amber, teal, and dark green. A half-gallon in amber is reported by Leybourne. This might be our museum example.

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 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: Image of an aqua example from Ed and Kathy Gray.

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

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