Curious dog-shaped bottles, called schnappshunde, were favorites of 17th- and 18th-century German glassblowers. The DAR Museum’s schnappshunde, dated sometime after 1750, was most likely forged in the Alloway, N.J., glassworks of the German-born Casper Wistar.
The first glass factory in America was built in Jamestown, Va., in 1608, and other glasshouses followed in the Colonies, particularly in New Amsterdam, Philadelphia and Salem, Mass. However, the first successful factory was set up by Wistar, who immigrated to Philadelphia in 1717. He began his career as a merchant, and by the 1730s, he had become an influential member of Philadelphia society. Despite a lack of experience in glass manufacturing, he founded Wistarburg Glass Works in 1739, recruiting glassmaking experts from Germany. He and his son Richard successfully operated the factory until about 1782.
Only a handful of pieces are known to carry a Wistarburg attribution. The DAR Museum purchased the object in April 2002.
American Spirit, Volume 139, No. 6, November/December 2005, Page 11
Photo by Mark Gulezian/QuickSilver