Pitcher - ROM2004_765_2



Maker: Mallorytown Glass Works (Canadian, c. 1839-1840)
Medium:Free-blown glass
Geography: Mallorytown, Ontario, Canada
Date: c. 1840
16.5 (height) x 17.5 (width) x 13.8 (depth) cm
Object number: 957.53.2
Credit Line: Edith Chown Pierce - Gerald Stevens Collection of Early Canadian Glass
On view
Gallery Location:
DescriptionThe Mallorytown Glass Works was founded by Amasa Whitney Mallory at Mallorytown, near Brockville, Ontario. Though its operation was brief, circa 1839-1840, it is noteworthy as Canada’s earliest recorded glass factory. No doubt Mallory’s original purpose was to make window glass. He may also have envisaged a potential local market for bottles, as there were a large number of breweries and distilleries in the area. But the Mallorytown Glass Works is best known for its few extant tablewares. The ROM has the largest collection of Mallorytown glass; this pitcher is the finest specimen. The other pieces consist of flasks, jars, bowls, and tumblers. The tablewares were likely made by the glassmen for their own use, or perhaps as a limited commercial product. The forms are free blown in a fairly thick glass of an aquamarine colour. Though the glass contains some bubbles and white spots, it is essentially clear. Forms are simple and decoration is limited to threading (or coils) and lily pads, both of which are found on the pitcher. Mallorytown glass belongs to a German-American tradition called "South Jersey", named after its earliest American location—the eighteenth century glass works of Caspar Wistar, in southern New Jersey. Following the American Revolution, this glass tradition spread northwards in a migration of glassmen in search of work. Eventually it reached as far north as northern Vermont and upstate New York, extending over the border to Mallorytown. The glassmen at Mallorytown probably came from the glassworks at nearby Redwood, New York. In recent years there has been some debate as to whether glass attributed to Mallorytown might not have been produced at Redwood or Redford, New York, because their products are so similar. Chemical analysis undertaken in 2002 confirms that, of the six intact pieces at the ROM, five were probably made at Mallorytown.
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