Pitcher with Chain Decoration

Object Name: 
Pitcher with Chain Decoration

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Object Name: 
Pitcher with Chain Decoration
Accession Number: 
2009.4.70
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 17.4 cm, W: 18.6 cm, D: 13.3 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
about 1815-1830
Credit Line: 
Gift of Kenneth Lyon and Sylvia Applebee Lyon
Web Description: 
This pitcher is attributed to the South Boston glasshouse of Thomas Cains, which was founded in 1811, or to the Phoenix Glass Works, which Cains started across the street from South Boston when he left that firm in 1820. Cains, who was born in England in 1779, was both a glassblower and the son of a glassblower. He was apprenticed at the Phoenix Glass Works in Bristol, and he was recruited in 1812 by an employee of the South Boston factory who had traveled to England in order to hire workers. This effort was in violation of English law, and Cains was nearly prevented from leaving the country. Another complication was the British blockades of American water transport because of the War of 1812. Cains arrived in the United States on April 9, 1812, and he went to work for the South Boston Flint Glass Works. The factory that he established eight years later was obviously named after the one where he had learned to blow glass. Many English-trained glassmakers probably knew how to make applied chain decoration, which was formed by attaching parallel threads of glass to a vessel and then pinching them together to make a series of rings. However, this form of ornamentation is particularly associated with Thomas Cains because several well-documented examples descended in his family. Almost all of them are colorless. This piece is the only one known that is colorless with a colored chain. For more information on Thomas Cains and his glassworks, see Joan E. Kaiser, The Glass Industry in South Boston, Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2009, pp. 20–59 (this pitcher is published on page 54, no. 41); and Kenneth M. Wilson, New England Glass and Glassmaking, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1972, pp. 198–228.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Lyon, Kenneth W., Source
2009-07-27
Lyon, Sylvia Applebee (Mrs. Kenneth), Source
2009-07-27
Primary Description: 
Colorless and transparent cobalt blue glass; blown, tooled, applied. Pitcher with handle decorated with two bands of blue chain decoration at upper or lower portion of body.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2009 (2010) illustrated, p. 22, #12; BIB# AI79879
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2009 (2010) illustrated, pp. 5, 20; BIB# AI86944