Rare late 18th c. American "LIBERTY" eagle glass mug
This beautiful, rare, Bohemian milk glass mug was made in the late 18th century for the American market. The gilded and painted decoration consists of a large eagle within an open wreath of laurel leaves, signifying glory and victory, above which is the word “Liberty.” 16 eight-pointed stars flank each side of the wreath, in groups of 8. 16 stars in celebration of Tennessee being admited to the Union in 1796 as the 16th state. This mug was likley made circa 1796. Patriotic souvenirs were very popular in early America. The patriotic imagery and the folk art impact of the overall design are excellent. 5 in. tall by 3 in. in diameter
Bohemian milk glass is often misidentified as Bristol glass. Citations of similar mugs include the following*:
Antiques, March 1925, First page of text, where a short article discusses items made in Europe by glassmakers to cater to the "patriotic susceptibilities of the freshly liberated Colonies." A similar mug (incorrectly identified as Bristol) is illustrated and another, belonging to the New York Historical Society, also with the motto "Liberty," is mentioned.
Antiques, December 1925, p. 346, "White Glass" by E. Barrington Haynes, where on page 347 an identical mug is illustrated (incorrectly listed as French).
Christies, "A Fine Collection of European White Glass (part II), London, Tuesday, June 22, 1976," lot 140 where a decanter is illustrated with extremely similar decoration and is correctly catalogued as late 18th century Bohemian milkglass.
"Glas", by Walter Spiegl, pub 1979, page 105 for another example.
Condition: There ar two tiny face chips and a closed hairline crack on the lower left portion of the paitned image. Does not diminish from teh piece. It is visible in the photo and video. Expectd ware to the gold rim at top. Age, rarity, and desirability of the unusual patriotic form well-warrant the condition.