This petite 18th Century Onion Bottle with George Washington Seal is fabricated by Phil Gilson, a master glassblower in Lawrenceville, Virginia, using techniques handed down by generations of artisans in Gilson's family. The small onion bottle will hold a single glass of wine. This bottle includes a seal displaying the Washington family coat of arms, the same one used on wine bottles at Mount Vernon. This reproduction green glass onion bottle is excellent for historical re-enactments, locations, and events when historical accuracy is required or desired.
Please note that this is a handmade item. The bottle you receive may vary slightly from the picture shown on our website.
- Reproduction 18th century glass onion bottle
- George Washington coat of arms seal reproduced from a wine bottle at Mount Vernon
- Measures approximately 4"H x 3 3/4" diameter; 3/4" diameter opening
- 6-7 oz. capacity
- Hand-made in the USA
- Historically accurate 18th-century bottle-glass color
The classic shape of the onion bottle is synonymous with wine bottles of the early 18th century. Many examples of onion bottles have been found in Williamsburg, including this one in our collections (object #1965-185,A). When the bottle was gifted to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1965 by Miss Josephine Doran, a label attached to the bottle tells of it's origin: "Found 1810 in the cellar on the 'Six Chimney Lot' the old residence of the Custis Family in Williamsburg VA and Presented by Mrs. Galt to Jas. W. Custis. 1852."
The seal on this particular reproduction glass onion bottle is a copy of George Washington's seal used on his own wine bottles at Mount Vernon. The seal is applied in a similar fashion to the one noted above belonging to John Custis. George Washington's seal includes the Washington family coat of arms consisting of "three mullets" and "two bars". Washington used the coat of arms on many other personal objects around his home.
About the Artist
Phil Gilson might be the last colonial American-style glassblower working full-time in the traditions developed in the 18th Century. A cousin of the Wistars, owners of America's first successful glass operation, Gilson's craft is not only a passion but a family legacy since the 1730s.
Gilson focuses most of his work on producing and perpetuating designs for historic homes, museums, schools, and the living history and re-enacting community. He makes many pieces using original molds and hand tools handed down for generations.
Gilson is the last of two known master chippers in the country. Chipping is the trade of carving directly into cast-iron glass molds to re-create embossed bottles and flasks of the past. The custom carvings enable Gilson to produce modern commemorative interpretations by placing interchangeable inserts in antique molds.
His work includes custom free-blown, pressed glass, and dip-molded pieces. All of his work is made in well-documented historical bottle-glass colors.
Early American Life magazine's esteemed directory of Traditional American Crafts includes Phil Gilson as a member.