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American Decorative Arts
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Maker: Boston and Sandwich Glass Works, American, 1826–88

Salt

1827–35

Pressed lead glass

1 9/16 × 3 7/16 × 1 7/8 in. (4 × 8.7 × 4.8 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
1930.1976
This vibrant blue table salt is a rare marked product from the Boston and Sandwich Glass Works, founded in 1825 by Deming Jarves. The company was an innovator in pressed glass, and the term “Sandwich glass” is generically applied to pressed glass produced in a variety of factories. Shaped like one of the side-wheeled steamboats that sailed the country’s waterways during the mid-nineteenth century, this salt reflects the steamboat’s growing importance in American life. By the end of the 1820s, hundreds of steamboats plied their way along the Great Lakes, the Hudson River, and, most importantly, the Mississippi, making it easier, cheaper, and faster than ever to transport goods and people along the country’s waterways. The name on this salt, “LAFAYET,” also represents America’s obsession with one of its most beloved Revolutionary War heroes. In 1824–25 the Marquis de Lafayette made a grand tour of the United States. People were thrilled to have a chance to see one of the last living heroes of the American Revolution. Only a few weeks after Lafayette’s landing in New York City, people could purchase souvenirs of this momentous visit, including “the head of LaFayette, in miniature, engraved by [Asher B.] Durand, and an admirable likeness, stamped on watch ribbons, ladies’ belts, gloves, etc.” The public’s taste for Lafayette memorabilia did not abate when the Marquis left for France in 1825. The Boston and Sandwich Glass Works’s books first record the production of this salt in 1827. It was highly popular and was soon copied by the Stourbridge Flint Glass Works in Pittsburgh.
Geography: 
Made in Sandwich, Massachusetts
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Containers - Glass
Provenance: 

Francis P. Garvan, New York, by 1930; by gift to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 260–62, no. 151, ill.

John Stuart Gordon, American Glass: The Collections at Yale (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2018), 90–91, 118, no. 46, fig. 46A.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.