Bogardus’ Glass Ball (w/o patent date)
Bogardus’ Glass Ball
(Without patent date)
Medium Amber Target Ball
Provenance: Ex: Ralph Finch Collection, American Glass Gallery
This embossed ‘BOGARDUS’ GLASS BALL’ is special because it is missing the embossed ‘PAT’D APR 10 1877’ copy that you typically see on the reverse side of the ball. Both sets of copy typically occur on a smooth horizontal band between a quilted diamond pattern above and below the band. Examples demonstrating this variant are pictured below. This ball is considered unique.
This medium amber example is the typical 2-5/8″ in diameter and has a long neck and a sheared mouth. It was blown in a 3-piece mold. The target ball would be considered extremely rare.
Capt. Adam Henry Bogardus, (1834–1913) was a world champion trap shooter as well as the inventor of the first practical glass ball trap in 1877. He also patented various target ball designs included his famous quilted diamond pattern. The 1877 date is embossed on this ball and others. One feature of the Bogardus ball was that the diamond ridges helped ensure that any pellets would shatter the sphere, rather than glance off the smooth surface of the orb.
See other Bogardus target balls in the museum Target Ball Gallery:
Support Primary Image: Auction Lot 555: “BOGARDUS’ GLASS BALL” Target Ball, America, 1877 – 1900. Medium amber, quilted diamond pattern above and below center band, 3-piece mold, long neck with rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8”, perfect. An extremely rare, and believed to be unique, mold having only the Bogardus name and no patent date. If you are a Bogardus collector, this ball should be at the top of your list! – The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Shooting Ephemera, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019, John Pastor and American Glass Gallery