Beaver Fruit Jar

Provenance: Darrell Plank Collection

We are pleased to display this beautiful Canadian pictorial fruit jar prominently embossed with a Beaver chewing on a tree branch and embossed ‘BEAVER.’ The North American Beaver is a national emblem of Canada.

Most Beaver-style jars were made in Canada sometime between 1880 and 1900 by the Ontario Glass Company in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada, and other glass companies. These jars are available and popular with collectors because of the name “Beaver'” and the beaver image prominently embossed on the jar face.

According to Standard Fruit Jar Reference, our museum example of a Beaver fruit jar was made circa 1901 by the Ontario Glass Company of Kingsville, Ontario, and possibly circa 1902 by the Sydenham Glass Company of Wallaceburg, Ontario. Apparently, the glass machines at the Kingsville plant were dismantled less than a year after they were installed and moved to the Sydenham plant. There is speculation that this short time period might account for the jar’s rareness.

The Beaver jars are typically hand-blown with a ground lip. The closure is a top seal (outer seal in Canada), straddle lip glass lid, with a metal screw band. The lid is unembossed with a button center though this is absent on the midget jars. The Canadian Beaver jar is readily available in six (6) sizes, two of each in pint, quart, and half-gallons. The pint beaver jars, also called midgets, seem the most desirable.

The amber jars are the most popular with collectors as the color range is broad from yellow-amber to orange-amber to red-amber. Most have numbers on the bottom of the jars, which helps identify runs of glass jar production. Some have alphabet letters that are rarer than numbers.

Typically, Beaver fruit jars are right-facing and in clear, aqua, light-blue, and light-green glass coloration. The quart-size amber jars are very much desired. An example is represented in the gallery.

What makes our museum example so exciting is its size, color, and What makes our museum example so exciting is the size, color, and position of the Beaver. The Beaver is facing left instead of right, which is more typical. The tail is cross-hatched. This is an odd jar as it is the only Beaver jar that is machine-made. There are rare midget pint Beaver jars facing left in yellow-amber and pale apple green, but this is one of maybe two examples in this soft straw yellow glass coloration. There is also a recorded example of a unique Beaver jar where the Beaver is facing left and standing.

See our museum example of an embossed “Beaver” jar quart with the Beaver facing right.

Primary Spinning Image: Pale yellow midget “Beaver facing left” from the Darrell Plank collection imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio

Secondary Spinning Image: Citron quart “Beaver facing right” from the Phil Smith collection. Imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio

Support image: Extremely rare midget pint in pale apple green. Also yellow quart pair – Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass

Support: Reference to Fruit Jar Annual 2020 – The Guide to Collecting Fruit Jars by Jerome J. McCann

Support: Reference to Red Book #11, the Collector’s Guide to Old Fruit Jars by Douglas M. Leybourne, Jr.

Support: The amber beaver jar and how it became the quintessential Canadian collectible – Diane Sewell for Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd.

Support image: The amber beaver jar and crate top from Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd.

Support image: American Beaver, John James Audubon, Brooklyn Museum

Join the FOHBC: The Virtual Museum is a project of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC). To become a member.

See More Jars

Jars Gallery

Click on a jar below!

Featured Stories

FOHBC Virtual Museum: Now Open Free 2020

Free Entry!

With COVID-19 canceling many events, bottle shows, and public gatherings and closing the museums that many of

Read More


Scroll to Top