Clear lead glass tumbler, 4 3/4" h., engraved "I DYE 1776" , with engraved naturalistic motif, including serrated leaves and thistles, blow pipe pontil; 


Attributed to the Philadelphia Glass Works, Philadelphia, Pa., c. 1776

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Excellent overall condition with few light scratches.


Robert Saxe Collection.

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American Craftsman and the European Tradition 1620-1820; see pg. 234, Arlene Palmer, 93. Goblet, attributed to the Glass Works of H.W. Stiegel, inscrided W & E OLD, also 96. Covered Goblet, EMANUEL CARPENTER ESQ. Both attributed to the work of Lazarus Issacs


This extraordinary tumbler is attributed to  the hand of glass cutter and engraver Lazarus Issacs. Lazzarus Issacs is the earliest known glass cutter in America, a Jew, who left England and came to America in 1773, finding employment at Stiegel.Glass Works in Lancaster , Pa.. When the Stiegel factory closed in 1774, Issacs found employment again at the Philadelphia Glass Works,  The initials on the tumbler "I DYE" are thought to be Issac Dye. In the historical record for the period  we find several Issac Dyes in New Jersey, one from Sommeret County c. 1784, another from Salem County, same time period.


This tumbler is thought to have been blown and engraved in Philadelphia in the year 1776 by Lazarus Issacs. The Philadelphia Glass works was one of two glass factories open in the year 1776 and the only factory to make high style English lead glass , The Philadelphia Glass Works, a predominately English tradition glass factory, doused its fires in 1777 when the British occupied Philadelphia. There is no other period American engraved piece of glass that i know of with the date 1776. Stylistically speaking, the engraving on the I DYE tumbler reveals a strong similarity in both conception and execution to both the W&E OLD goblet, and CARPENTER covered goblet! All three examples share a similar flowering style, like the serrated leaves and thistles on the Old goblet, and all three are engraved in the English ,not German tradition. However, the letters are all identical, like large triangular serifs on the horizontal elements of the E's , and compare the D in OLD to the D in DYE, it is the same hand. In regard to the pontil used here, this is a sophisticated lead glass tumbler where you will usually encounter a glass tippet scar, like on English glass. But this tumbler, with tremendous base wear has the only blow pipe pontil scar I have ever seen on a piece of lead glass, especially one made in the high style of English Glass. So what are the chances of anything dated 1776 being legitimate? What ever the odds, it is truly a remote possibility, but there is always one in a million and this is it ; authentic dated 1776 period tumbler attributed to Lazarus Issacs, Philadelphia Glass Works.