Masonic historical flask soars to $56,160

Masonic flask

The top lot of the auction was this rare Masonic historical flask showing the iconic Masonic crossed keys and star, $56,160. (All photos courtesy of Norman C. Heckler & Co.)

WOODSTOCK, Conn. – A rare Masonic historical flask showing the iconic crossed keys and star soared to $56,160 and an equally scarce “Firecracker” pint historical flask with a bust of George Washington, one of a few known, went for $49,140 at Premier Auction #133, an Internet auction held by Norman C. Heckler & Company. The sale ran March 7-16.

At the finish of the 133 lots crossing the block, the sale grossed more than $500,000. Lots included historical flasks, inks, bitters, early wine bottles, utilities, medicines, blown glass, sodas, mineral water bottles and even a few poisons. Most sold within range, and many sold above the estimates. All prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.

The Masonic flask that sold for $56,160 was the top lot of the auction. It was produced between 1820 and 1830, probably by Coventry Glass Works (Coventry, Conn.). It had a light to medium olive yellow color, with a sheared mouth and pontil scar. Some light exterior wear on the compass and square didn’t deter bidders a bit. They were attracted to the bottle’s rarity and excellent condition.

The historical “Firecracker” flask with a bust of Washington on the front and “E Pluribus Unum / T.W.D.” on the back was made circa 1820-1830 by Kensington Glass Works (Philadelphia, Pa.) to commemorate the deaths of founding fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both died on the same day: July 4, 1826 (as noted on the flask). The bottle, which sold for $49,140, had a medium amber color with a strong olive tone.

A deep fiery plum amethyst pint historical flask embossed with cannon image, and with “Genl. (Zachary) Taylor Never Surrenders – A Little More Grape, Capt. Bragg,” circa 1830-1850, probably by Baltimore Glass Works (Baltimore, Md.), realized $22,230; and a scarce early George Washington bust flask, one of only a few known, circa 1820-1840 by Frederick Lorenz, Mfgr. (Pittsburgh, Pa.), in a greenish aquamarine color, knocked down for $22,230.

Sunburst flasks were a hit with collectors. Tops in the group was a pint example made by Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks (Keene, N.H.), circa 1815-1830, in a unique color variation: a bright yellow green at the mid-body, shading to a deeper green with amber striations in the base, shoulder shades from deep amber to a black mouth ($24,570). An early Pittsburgh (Pa.) district sunburst historical pint flask with an eagle graphic, circa 1820-1840 in bright blue-green, sold for $9,360.

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A brilliant yellowish-green half-pint Hourglass Masonic flask, made circa 1815-1830, probably by Coventry Glass Works (Conn.), a rare mold with wonderful glass clarity, fetched $24,570; while a rare half-pint portrait flask showing Gen. Lafayette with Masonic arch and emblems, made circa 1820-1830 by Mount Vernon Glass Works (Mount Vernon, N.Y.), medium olive green in color, realized $7,020.

A pint factory portrait flask for the “Wheat Price & Company Manufacturers, Wheeling, West Virginia,” made circa 1820-1840 and light blue-green in color, a rare bottle in fine condition went for $9,945. A scarce pint colored scroll flask in a deep purple amethyst, circa 1845-1860, possibly by John Robinson & Son, Manufacturers (Pittsburgh, Pa.), in fine overall condition, went out for $8,190.

A cylindrical, medium olive amber blacking bottle for “T. Addeman / Prov., R.I.,” circa 1846-1860, probably at a Stoddard glasshouse (Stoddard, N.H.) and with a partial original label breezed to $12,870. An early form freeblown open salt bowl, made circa 1815-1830 by Coventry Glass Works, medium yellow olive, hit $7,605.

Norman C. Heckler & Company’s next auction (#135) will be online in late May and close in early June. The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To inquire about consigning, contact 860-974-1634 or To learn more, visit