Old World and New

Eighteenth century English cosmetic jars of a form excavated in Philadelphia were the prototype for a small American ribbed vessel.

English and American Cosmetic Jars (21C,14C)

The earliest ceramics, silver, furniture and glass made in and near Pennsylvania combined English forms and Germanic technique.

The lidded English jar is of a high quality lead glass and has the heavy diamond-molded pattern of period sugar bowls, dishes and creamers. The American example has bubbly light green non-lead glass patterned with 16 shallow optic ribs.

While the English jar may have been imported as part of the antique trade, a strikingly similar example excavated on Benjamin Franklin’s property in Philadelphia was an 18th century import. Its lid matches that of the English example.

The American example was made either in the Philadelphia area or at one of the earliest factories west of the Alleghany Mountains, perhaps Albert Gallatin’s New Geneva.