View Full Version : Tell me about this pontil

03-18-2012, 10:14 AM
I have been collecting, and dealing in Bottles for about 10 or 12 yrs now, and thought I had seen most of the different Pontil Scars that were out there. I picked this Masonic Eagle up a few weeks ago, and its got an interesting half round channel from one side of the base to the other. right through a normal looking Pontil. I am curious about why its there, and what might have caused it. The pint Flask is a Heartbreaker, with a crack down the outer edge of the Eagle's wing on the right side. It is however loaded with crudity, and its in a blistering color. I think it to be a GIV 17. I dont normally ever buy cracked bottles (knowingly) It was priced very right. KEENE is in the oval slugplate. Any thoughts on this base would be appreciated. I'l throw up a couple pics so you can see the Flask in its entirety. First, here's the pontiled base.


03-18-2012, 10:15 AM
Here's one side, What a window Bottle


03-18-2012, 10:15 AM
Here's the Eagle side.


03-18-2012, 10:16 AM
Close up of the Oval with KEENE


03-18-2012, 10:49 AM
Those two part flasks often have a bottom seam that makes them sit funny. Maybe thats someones attempt to recess the seam and make a better bottle?

RED Matthews
03-18-2012, 05:01 PM
Well in my opinion it looks like it could have been a cross member method of locking the two mold halves together properly for the final blow. It es a neat bottle to have and study even if it does have a crack in the glass. Thanks for showing it to us.
RED Matthews

03-18-2012, 07:34 PM
Here's my theory.
The base didn't cool enough an stuck at the hinge making a gap and raising the area. Maybe they flattened the base on a table (maybe not). Then they put the base in the fire while still on the pipe. Then they cracked it off for the lip. I'm not sure how the re-fired the pontil to make it smooth but glass makers could do it I'm sure.

03-18-2012, 08:35 PM
Simple solution - this is how any and every bottle blown in this particular mold appears.

03-18-2012, 09:06 PM
this is how any and every bottle blown in this particular mold appears.

But why did they make the mold that way? Was it a repair? Did someone try to recess the bottom mold seam?
It seems atypical of similar 2 part molds of the time... at least to me anyway.

andy volkerts
03-18-2012, 10:54 PM
and its got an interesting half round channel from one side of the base to the other. right through a normal looking Pontil.

Looks to me as if the bottle was sat down on a handle of a glassblowing tool, such as a lip finisher or holding tool. as it goes over the pontil, pushing the pontil up into the glass, probably a gaffers helper left something where it didnt belong, and this bottle was put on top of it. as they were being paid by the piece, the crew put it in the annealing oven and sold it to the customer anyways.........cool crudity to say the least!!!!

03-21-2012, 08:43 AM
Do the mold lines line up with either side of the channel?

03-21-2012, 10:01 AM
The pontil rod is attached after removal from the mold. This channel is part of the mold (as to "why" I do not know) so the channel does not run through the pontil - the pontil sits atop the channel.

03-21-2012, 10:18 AM
Attached is a photo of a GIV-17 I purchased on Monday with the same channel running across the base. Removal of the pontil rod was often the reason for breakage - might the channel be a means of reducing the amount of surface area to which the rod was attached to the base? Not sure I am explaining this well but the reason that it appears that the channel runs "through" the channel is that this area is recessed and thus the scar is not visible here. With a smaller attachment point perhaps the glassblowers felt it was easier to remove the flask from the rod. Similar functions were utilized in earlier times through the use of a molette....


03-21-2012, 10:19 AM
And yes Jim, as you see, the mold seam runs on one side of the channel.

03-21-2012, 01:18 PM
molette = toothed wheel or cutting wheel

great thread folks. thanx !!


03-21-2012, 02:33 PM

Hello Jeff,

You and RED are the only guys that talk about molettes. My French is mostly forgotten, but is this the tool?

http://www.verre-histoire.org/colloques/innovations/imgvign/304_f03cv_palaude_molette_1856.jpg http://www.verre-histoire.org/colloques/innovations/imgvign/304_f03av_palaude_molette_1856.jpg From. (http://www.verre-histoire.org/colloques/innovations/pages/p304_01_palaude.html) Partially translated HERE. (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.verre-histoire.org/colloques/innovations/pages/p304_01_palaude.html&ei=GQ5qT-OsIMjq0gHHxtn7CA&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CF0Q7gEwBw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmolette%2Bin%2Bglassmaking%26hl%3Den% 26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DX%26biw%3D1194%26bih%3D618%26p rmd%3Dimvnsb)

SHA article by Olive Jones (http://www.sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/jones1971.pdf)

Is that the Molette, or the "wheel" in the above photos? I'm getting more confused by the minute...


03-21-2012, 06:35 PM
Discussion of the mollette (a rod with a conical end used to push up the base before empontiling) can be found here.


03-24-2012, 11:15 AM
I'm thinking maybe the mark is made from a modified hinge where the 2 halves of the mold meet???

03-26-2012, 01:40 AM
I think it is a modification in the mold to remove an uneven base left behind by the original molds seam. Maybe the mold became loose on the hinge and a gap opened up, who knows? Mike, (earlyglass), has another flask in a different mold with the same channel in the base while he also has the same mold without the channel... I was thinking they possibly used a tool after coming out of the mold, but I see as pointed out by others that wouldn't make a lot of sense...