Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Lily-pad Pitcher, produced by Lancaster Glass Works. The glass that was used to make this pitcher was also employed in the manufacture of windows because the brilliant, deep aquamarine color would not have been noticeable in thinly blown sheets of window glass.
The applied decoration on the pitcher resembles lily pads. This type of ornament, which is unknown on earlier European glasses, is considered to be an American innovation. Because glassmakers moved frequently, it is often impossible to determine precisely where such tablewares were produced.
The pitcher may have been made as a gift for the family or a close friend of the glassmaker. Until recently, glassworkers in America and Europe were permitted to use factory glass to fashion objects on their own time at no cost. These “end-of-day” creations are some of the most fanciful objects made in American glasshouses.