Probably Wistarburgh Glassworks American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 704

This glass dog, or schnapshund, is an interesting example of a traditional German form persisting in late eighteenth-century colonial America. Popular from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, these glass drinking vessels were novelty objects created by glassblowers in the area now known as Germany. The form came to America by way of German glassblowers, many of whom worked for Caspar and Richard Wistar at their Wistarburg Glassworks in Alloway, New Jersey. Caspar Wistar, who immigrated to America in 1717, established a glasshouse in that location in 1738. He employed almost exclusively German glassblowers to make bottles, equipment for scientists and physicians, as well as tablewares, such as sugar bowls and candlesticks. The majority of the wares that can be tentatively attributed to Wistar are made of unrefined bottle glass, often in a variety of colors. This schnapshund is made of green, unrefined bottle glass, in contrast to German schnapshund, which are made of colorless or aqua glass. A further case in point for this being an American and a Wistar product, is that the Metropolitan’s schnapshund has a similar chemical composition to Wistar sugar bowls, according to the chemical analysis. It is also closely related in form and tooling to a documented Wistar schnapshund in the Wyck collection, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, home of Richard Wistar.

Bottle, Probably Wistarburgh Glassworks, Free-blown glass, American

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