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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

AMERICAN STIEGEL-TYPE GLASS



The next well-known type of American glass was that made by the German William Henry Stiegel in Manheim, Pennsylvania. Stiegel operated his glassworks from 1763 to May, 1774, and employed over 130 foreign workmen. Although thousands of articles were made here in the almost ten years of operation, other glasshouses in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and a little later in Maryland, made glass of the same type, which was similar to the glass being imported from England and the Continent. Indeed Stiegel and other American glassmakers made such excellent imitations that it is hard to distinguish between much of the American and the foreign glass made at the same time. Stiegel glass generally was of three types, all of it blown: (a) pattern-molded; (b) cut and engraved; (c) enameled. The pattern-molded glass is the largest class and also the most distinctive. The glass was given its pattern by blowing the gather of metal into a mold which had a design cut on its inner surface. After the gather of glass was impressed with the design, it was withdrawn and the article was blown into shape. Pattern-mold designs include vertical and spiral ribbing, fluting, paneling, and variations of the Venetian Diamond such as the Checkered Diamond, ogival, or Daisy Diamond. All of these designs except the Daisy Diamond were made at other glasshouses in different parts of the country and the same type was made even a century later. However, the Daisy Diamond design has not been found elsewhere and is considered to be original with Stiegel. It is found on perfume bottles, small vases, and salts in clear glass, amethyst, sapphire blue, and rare emerald. Other pattern-molded designs are found on sugar bowls, salts, creamers, condiment bottles, small bowls, and drinking glasses. A great deal of Stiegel-type pattern-molded glass with expanded swirled and vertical ribbing and diamond allover designs was made in Ohio in the 19th century. Bottles, flasks, compotes, sugar bowls, pitchers, and creamers, as well as salts, were blown in amber, green, amethyst, and blue, and pattern-molded. Vertical ribbed and popcorndesign bottles are typical of Middle Western pattern-molded glass. Bottles or flasks were also pattern-molded in the Pitkin Glass Works in Connecticut. The so-called "Pitkin" flasks have an extra gather of glass on the neck of the flask and are usually found in olive green and ambers. They were also made in other Connecticut and New Hampshire glasshouses. Clearglass mugs, decanters, flip glasses, wines, and other drinking glasses made by Stiegel often have designs of shallow-cut copper-wheel engraving. The motifs include various types of tulip decoration, heart and bird motifs, baskets of flowers, vines, garlands, wreaths, and latticework, and often names, initials, or inscriptions are added. The work is usually a little careless and naive and is similar to European peasant decoration. Stiegel enameled decoration was painted on clear and colored glass, mostly blue. The designs were peasant in spirit and the motifs included birds, flowers, human figures, steeples, and inscriptions. Dove and floral designs with inscriptions, parrots, rooster, and a design of a woman in a boat are well known. Borders on these enameled pieces includes lines and scallops in white, dull red, and mustard yellow. The designs themselves are enameled in blue, yellow, red, green, and black and white. Cordial bottles and drinking glasses of various types are the articles most often found with enamel decoration but Stiegel's own records list enameled salts.

Pattern-molded and engraved Stiegel-type glass was also made by Amelung at the New Bremen Glass Manufactory in Frederick, Maryland. This factory was established in 1784 and skilled German craftsmen were brought over. They excelled in engraving, and marked and dated pieces which they-made for the state of Pennsylvania, the mayor of Boston, and the city of Bremen, Germany, are equal to some of the finest pieces of engraved foreign glass. The regular output of the factory included window glass, bottles, decanters, wine glasses, and "every other sort of Table Glass." Coat of arms, devices, ciphers, and fancy figures, including sprays of leaves, birds, daisylilce flowers, festoons, and names and inscriptions, are typical of the engraving on clear glass. After the factory shut down in 1796, these skilled workmen were employed in Baltimore and at the New Geneva Glass Works in Pennsylvania.



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