Thursday, December 29, 2011

Base of E. Wideman & J. Chappaz

Per Andrew's request, here is the base of the puce E. Wideman & J. Chappaz. It looks like a multi-leg starfish...I would be curious to know how many different "stars" are embossed on the bases of western blown bottles. Also, are there any theories as to what they represent ie: brand, style, contents, glassblower, glass house, time period, etc.?


  1. Dale,
    I had an unembossed green cylinder. It was embossed on the base with Pacific Glass Works with that same exact design in the base center. That was the key to determining the origin of the glassworks.


  2. Warren, that unembossed green cylinder sounds interesting. Does that mean there are two different cylinders with both PGW AND a 'star', the one you described above and then the variant with a smaller 8 rayed star ?

  3. Thanks for sharing, Dale. You raise a lot of interesting questions about the possible meanings of base embossed stars....I have yet to figure out what they signify, other than representing which glasshouse made them. But I certainly think they could mean much more than who made them and perhaps what they held, the grade quality of contents, etc.

    One thing I have noticed about Sixth sized cylinders (whether they are unembossed or embossed) is they often seemed to contain contents other than whiskey/bourbon, and perhaps more often than not. I've seen a few labeled sixths that have been for cordials, brandy, lemon/strawberry syrups and bitters. However, using labels as proof of WHY specific bottles were manufactured is suspect, as many labels only indicate what the bottle held during a later period in time (ex. Boca Brewing labels placed on embossed Whiskey/Bourbon fifths). The more concrete evidence of what embossed western sixths most often held is as follows:

    -Jockey Club = Whiskey
    -Thos. Taylor Virginia N. = Wines & Liquors (comes in the 1/5th & 1/6th size) - Did the 1/5th & 1/6th hold different contents?
    -Evans & O'Brien = Bourbon/Whiskey
    -Livingston's = Blackberry Brandy
    -Chevalier's = Ginger Brandy
    -Damiana Bitters = Bitters
    -Ratafia Damiana = Flavored Cordial/Bitters
    -St. Catherine's = Mineral Water
    ***I am sure I am missing a few other sixth examples that may have contained contents other than whiskey/bourbon, but this is what came to mind.***

    Warren, I am guessing your PGW cylinder was a sixth, right? I've yet to see any evidence of a base embossed PGW fifth....but I do suspect they may have been made, just yet to be discovered?

    Happy New Year, all. Here's to a great 2012!

  4. Thanks for bringing up this point Lance. Taking it one step further, why was the 1/6th so popular during the 1860s only to quickly become usurped by the 1/5th in the early 1870s ??

    As for any patterns or meanings regarding the PGW star, only one is certain in regards to cylinders: the older the star, the more rays it will have. Has anyone seen any late 60s or early 70s flasks with a star containing more than 8 rays ? Any star based squares out there ?