View Full Version : The McKearin numbered GIV-42 Calabash Flask

08-03-2010, 02:07 AM
I aquired these bottle's three years ago and was cleaning today after stirring up hornets on some website but thats another story.................

The original Civil war period GIV-42 Calabash flask has the Union and Clasped hands symbols above a Masonic compass and Square and below the Compass and the square the word UNION in an ellipse shaped circle.The reverse side of the bottle has an Eagle flying to the right with a shield and pennants. The mold features are very prominent not weak.This flask was very popular around the time the Civil war was ending.It was later found out that the bottle commemerated the Junior Order of The United American Mechanics.This flask was made by A.R. Samuels Keystone Glassworks sometime around 1867.The bottle could also have been made in the Medford New Jersey Glassworks which Mr. Samuels owned for three years 1863 1864 and 1865.

Enter the Clevenger Brothers,This might just be the Clevenger Brothers and particularly Alie Clevenger's best work but as always seems the case the Clevenger Brothers copys always had glaring tell tale signs they were just plain copys of the originals.The easiest way to tell the original bottle from the Clevenger made reproduction is the lack of the initials A.R.S. under the Compass and square.The rest of the bottle is 95 percent accurate to the original.Another way to tell an original bottle is the sharp blowpipe pontil on all original's in stark contrast to the smooth based Clevenger made version.
Lastly the detail in the Eagle is faint on the Clevenger copy version along with lack of discernable pronounced fingers in the handshake.All in all a very easy flask to be stumped by........................It got me!![:@] I would like to warn others [;)]


08-03-2010, 02:08 AM
The original initials A.R.S.near the base of the bottle.


08-03-2010, 02:08 AM
The Clevenger version and the (lack of initials)


08-03-2010, 02:10 AM
The Original,The detail in the Eagle is sharp and the mold impression strong.


08-03-2010, 02:12 AM
The Clevenger version with the blurry detail and weak impression in the Eagle.


08-03-2010, 02:13 AM
The original version with the word UNION below the Compass and square


08-03-2010, 02:15 AM
The Clevenger version with the word UNION below the Compass and square again the detail not so sharp and the impression weak.


08-03-2010, 02:17 AM
This is an area on both bottles which is impossible to differentiate the medial ribbing.


08-03-2010, 02:18 AM
The Medial ribbing again side by bside.


08-03-2010, 02:19 AM
The original bottle's scalloped area at the base of the neck.


08-03-2010, 02:20 AM
The Clevenger version's scalloped neck area pretty much a dead match to the original!!


08-03-2010, 02:21 AM
The blow pipe pontiled base of the original.

08-03-2010, 02:22 AM
The smooth base of the Clevenger version.This copy always has this type of base!!Thats not a pontil you are looking straight up at the mouth of the bottle.


08-03-2010, 02:25 AM
The applied top on an original.


08-03-2010, 02:27 AM
The last picture of the applied top on the Clevenger version.I hope this is helpfull to someone contemplating purchasing one of these one day.
I was fooled and it cost me 150.00s.Dont let it happen to you.


08-03-2010, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the info. Will tuck that next to the cabin ID thread of yours.

08-03-2010, 09:06 PM
Steve, I just did a double take on mine, I knew it was pontiled, but went and got it anyway for comparison.Two things that caught my eye were the applied top and the overall stoutness of the original.The applied top on mine(original), seems to be short and wide.The Clevenger seems to be long and thinner.My bottle also seems to have a wide stout look and feel.Your Clevenger seems to be a bit taller and thinner looking. Any thoughts.

RED Matthews
08-03-2010, 09:52 PM
Thank you Steve. I doubt that I will ever have an opportunity to obtain even a Clevenger repro. But I do appreciate your lessons of the rip-offs in repro's. This type of recognition needs to be shared with people that care and like to know what to look for. I did find from your write-up on the Clevenger Jenny Lind bottle that their repro was exactly what I had. The only smile generator was the fact that I only had $28 into it including shipping.
Thank you for being so helpfull in giving lessons. RED Matthews

08-03-2010, 10:59 PM
Thanks for the compliment Red,thats why I write these posts to help someone not make a mistake.It is one of the reasons I never was to impressed with the Clevengers operation.From the get go they made the BOOZ copy soley to deceive.Today they would be considered knockoffs.I just wish they would have created their own bottles and marketed them as such instead of deceiving everyone who had a passion for old glass.

Tom you are correct the Clevenger bottle is lighter and slightly taller.The mold markings are almost exactly alike leaving open the possibilty that a plaster mold was used similar to the fake GI-28, bust of George Washington and embossed Albany N.Y. flask

08-05-2010, 10:57 PM
Another most educational post from Steve...I hope all the interested folks are keeping notes.
I got took years ago on an early Clevenger repro and I've been learning about them ( and others) ever since.

American Bottles & Flasks notes "maker unknown" on this calabash. But I also consider it a Clevenger Bros bottle. Like You, Steve, I wish the Clevengers had given us more of their original works rather than focusing so much time on reproductions. Although, I will admit, I don't think much of some of their "original works."

11-17-2010, 08:32 AM
Just checkin in