Single Bell Jar (one has been sold)
Blown Glass
Probably southern New Jersey
late 18th early 19th century
Approximately 14.5” tall  x 16” dia

Bell jars were used to protect young plants from harsh weather and their use in England can be dated at least to the mid 17th century. Their use in Virginia can be dated to the 1732 estate inventory of Robert Carter of Corotoman which listed eight. George Washington recorded an order of 18  “Bell Glasses for Garden” from London in 1759 and fragments of glass knops found by archaeologist at Mount Vernon confirm their use there.

Like the example described in Arlene Palmer’s Glass in Early America published by Winterthur, these two bell jars are of light green glass, have pronounced shoulders, plain edges rather than folded and have similar dimensions.

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Christopher H. Jones Antiques

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