Mason’s Patent 1858 in Cobalt Blue

Provenance: Darrell Plank Collection

Presented for your viewing is this extremely rare Mason’s Patent Nov. 30th 1858 quart jar in cobalt blue glass. The hand-blown jar has a ground lip with a shoulder seal closure and an early lettered zinc screw cap. There is an embossed ‘P’ over ’13’ on the base. Only three examples are known to exist with this base embossing. We have two of them represented in our museum. The jar was produced circa 1890 to 1910.

Years after the patent protection had been exhausted and John Landis Mason had passed from the scene, fruit jars specifically embossed like our museum Mason’s Patent Nov 1858 jar were still being made by numerous glass houses in several countries. This resulted in a vast amount of jars available and in collections. With so many, the jars are now mostly collected by color with truer colors being more desirable to collectors with cobalt blue at the top of the list.

This jar is believed to have been made to special order by Moore Brothers & Company of Clayton, Gloucester County, New Jersey, around the turn of the 20th century. We have a straight-sided green Mason’s Patent 1858 pint in our museum also thought to have been produced by the Moore Brothers.

John M. Moore acquired the Fislerville Glass Works in 1856 and set up a successful business that would last for more than half a century. The firm went through six reorganizations and continued through the renaming of the town from Fislerville to Clayton in 1867. When the glass industry revitalized to machine production in the early 20th century, the Moore family closed the plant in 1912.

The intended purpose of the jar in this color is unknown. Like the cobalt Millville jars, some collectors have speculated that these jars may have been made for a pharmaceutical or sterile gauze use. The distinctive and unmistakable lettering style is found on common aqua Masons Patent 1858 jars marked on the base with the Moore Brothers name.

See other Mason jars in the FOHBC Virtual Museum Jar Gallery:
• Mason’s CFJCo Improved – Clyde, N.Y. 
• Mason’s GCCo Patent 1858 Jar 
• Mason’s Improved Jar 
• Mason’s Improved Jar – Australian 
• Mason’s Patent Crowleytown Jar 
• Mason’s Patent Nov. 30th 1858 
• Mason’s Patent 1858 CFJCo Midget Jar
Mason’s Patent 1858 Straight Sided

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

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

Support: Reference to The Moore Family Glass Houses of New Jersey by Bill Lockhart, Beau Schriever, Bill Lindsey, and Carol Serr

Support Image: Cobalt blue quart. Early lettered zinc cap, shiny glass, normal roughness of the ground mouth with one thin flake on the inner edge not quite detached, as shown. Very strong embossing. The base has a “P” over “14”, circa 1890-1910, Extremely rare. Only 3 examples are known to exist with this base embossing. This jar ranks among the most desirable of all collectible fruit jars and is a superb example. Guaranteed to be authentic and over 100 years old. A rare opportunity to acquire a fantastic colored Mason jar. The last intact example placed up for auction was 15 years ago, when Alex Kerr’s example was sold. These come up so seldom that it’s possible another opportunity to add one of these rarities to your collection might not occur again for decades. Full provenance is available to the winning bidder. Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000. – Greg Spurgeon, North American Glass

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