National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Decorated Glass Flask Decorated Glass Flask
Rendered by George File (artist), c. 1940
watercolor and graphite on paper
overall: 34.1 x 31.5 cm (13 7/16 x 12 3/8 in.)
Index of American Design
1943.8.16524
Not on View
From the Tour: Pennsylvania German Folk Art from the Index of American Design
Object 5 of 23

Pennsylvania German glassware was best known through the artistry of "Baron" Heinrich Wilhelm Stiegel. Stiegel was a master craftsman who became a legend in his own time as the flamboyant owner of iron and glassworks. Stiegel glass cannot be definitely identified since his workers took his methods to other factories after his own went bankrupt. However, Stiegel-type flint glass, or crystal, was widely known for its beauty, fragility, and the brilliance of its colors. A wide variety of glassware -- from wineglasses, sugar bowls, and cruets to windowpanes and chemists' bottles -- was made at the Stiegel furnace. The flask shown here was a typical Stiegel product. Stiegel was the first American glass manufacturer to enamel glass. Pieces made of white, or clear, glass have their decoration of birds, tulips, and scrolls painted on freehand with red, green, and yellow enamel. The motifs used reflect typical Pennsylvania German traditions of decoration.

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