Pair of Engraved and Enameled Tumblers

Object Name: 
Pair of Engraved and Enameled Tumblers

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Object Name: 
Pair of Engraved and Enameled Tumblers
Accession Number: 
2010.4.23
Dimensions: 
(AB) Tumbler H: 10.4 cm, Diam (max): 8.9 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
1822-1826
Web Description: 
This pair of decorated tumblers was made for Capt. Joseph Bowie and his wife, Belinda Janvrin Bowie. One is engraved with his initial, “J.,” and the other bears a “B” for Belinda. According to an entry in the family’s Bible, the couple was married in Newburyport, Massachusetts, on October 31, 1822. Their son, William Joseph, was born on April 30, 1824. Captain Bowie drowned in New Orleans on November 19, 1826. The tumblers can thus be reliably dated between his marriage in 1822 and his death in 1826. Such exact dating is a rarity in glass of this period. The tumblers were probably made either for the marriage or for the couple’s first anniversary. Mrs. Bowie was a member of a prominent seafaring family in Newburyport, and her parents and several siblings lived in the area. She remarried, and the tumblers descended in her family. The glasses may be of English origin (as mariners, the family could certainly have afforded imported wares), or they may have been made at the New England Glass Company, which operated in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1818. Even if the tumblers are English, they were probably decorated at a shop in Boston or Cambridge. The style of decoration, which combines engraving, enameling, and gilding, is very sophisticated for the period, and all of these techniques were employed on the faces of glass clocks made in eastern Massachusetts. Because there are no trademarks on the glass, it is impossible to identify the decorator.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Bowie, Joseph, Former Collection
Bowie, Belinda Janvrin, Former Collection
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass; blown, tooled, engraved, applied gilding and enamel. Cylindrical shaped tumblers with an engraved oval cartouche on one side that is decorated in the center with an engraved "J" (the other tumbler is engraved with "B") and a black wash and encircled by a band of enameled green with gilded patterns on the green band and gilded star burst design around the outside. On the opposite side of the tumbler is a gilded flower. Gilded rim.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, p. 28, #16; BIB# AI86878