M992.6.143 | Canoe

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Creative Commons License
1890-1910, 19th century or 20th century
5 x 6 x 15.5 cm
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Newlands Coburn
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Canoe (5)
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Keys to History

Non-Natives appropriate Native designs, trading artistic and cultural identities. Glass manufacturers replicate everyday objects, in useful sizes as well as miniature. The Canada Glass Works, Hudson, Quebec, 1864-72, and the Hamilton Glass Company, Hamilton, Ontario, 1865-96, produce green glass coloured by iron impurities in sand. Window glass and assorted bottles range from aquamarine through olive green to amber. Improved moulding techniques enable the economic production of pressed glass in a virtually unlimited variety of patterns. Novelty in form and design is sought after rather than functionality. The pipe cannot be smoked, the candlestick is not a standard size and the canoe is not for paddling. Pressed glass, mass produced and inexpensive, threatens to replace blown, cut and engraved imports. The latter pieces begin to include features that cannot be duplicated by pressing procedures, such as fans and diamond motifs. These knick-knacks are displayed on etageres and whatnots.

Harold Osborne, The Oxford Companion to the Decorative Arts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 409.

  • What

    The green glass miniature canoe with marked gunwales is about 15 cm long. The pipe and canoe are moulded and pressed, the candlestick finished by hand.

  • Where

    These wares are probably Canadian and might have been displayed on whatnots or étagères.

  • When

    These glass trinkets were made at the turn of the 19th into the 20th-century.

  • Who

    Many North American companies made these decorative, nonfunctional gifts.