Vase Manufacturer: Pittsburgh Flint Glass Works
Proprietor: Bakewell, Page & Bakewells, American, 1827–1832


American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

Imposing in scale and embellished with elaborate prism and pillar cutting, this vase is the product of the Pittsburgh Flint Glass Works (more commonly referred to as Bakewell, Page & Bakewell), one of the most ambitious glasshouses in nineteenth-century America. Benjamin Bakewell, the proprietor, understood showmanship; when the Marquis de Lafayette visited Pittsburgh during his celebrated tour of the United States in 1824–25, Bakewell presented a grand ceremonial gift to the French dignitary and hero of the Revolutionary War. This vase descended in the Bakewell family and, according to tradition, was part of an initial pair made for Lafayette that was put aside due to flaws. More likely, this vase was the sample on which the skilled glass cutters practiced cutting the intricate pattern of facets. The glass used by Bakewell between 1825 and 1832 had an unstable composition that over time resulted in a hazy corrosion termed “crizzling.” Even with its now-clouded appearance, this vase shows Bakewell’s ambition to make glass that rivaled that of Europe.


Blown and cut lead glass


12 1/8 × 7 3/4 in. (30.8 × 19.69 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Susan Lewis Shaffer

Accession Number



19th century


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 records is ongoing.



Bakewell, Page and Bakewell, Pittsburgh
  • John Stuart Gordon, "American Glass: The Collections at Yale," Antiques and the Arts Weekly (November 2, 2018), 30–31, ill
  • John Stuart Gordon, American Glass: The Collections at Yale (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2018), 92–93, no. 47
  • Jane Shadel Spillman, "A Lafayette Vase," Glass Club Bulletin no. 218 (2010), 9, fig. 3
  • Lisa R. Brody et al., "Techniques for Treating Glass and Ceramics," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2010), 86, fig. 3
  • Arlene M. Palmer, Artistry and Innovation in Pittsburgh Glass, 1808–1882: From Bakewell and Ensell to Bakewell, Pears and Co. (Pittsburgh: Frick Art and Historical Center, 2004), 63, ill
  • Lowell Innes, Pittsburgh Glass, 1797–1891: A History and Guide for Collectors (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976), 114, fig. 63
  • John Stuart Gordon, "Time in a Bottle," Antiques 185, no. 5 (September/October 2018), 91, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



engraved with B

Technical metadata and APIs


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