The Rampant Lion

Adam's family is large enough that it would be a stretch of finances and creative gift ideas to purchase a present for each sibling a Christmastime. They've devised a clever strategy to ensure full stockings for all: we each draw names for a large gift, three sets of stocking stuffers, and a free gift. It's always fun to see what is given freely. Sometimes a found item, sometimes a talent, sometimes a batch of cookies or a clean car.

This year my mother-in-law drew my name and gave me a free gift with immense value- a domed glass cheese dish that belonged to her mother, and an entertaining research project.

It is, as it turns out, a beautiful example of early American pressed glass, created by Gillinder & Sons in Philadelphia. The pattern is also one of the first to feature the acid etching technique that gives the lion its frosted appearance. How incredible that this dish, crafted in 1877, now resides in our china cabinet. Rest assured that it's safely beyond the reach of our own rampant lions! I'll be so proud to showcase it in future tablescapes, thinking of the history (both of family and country) that it represents.

For more information on Gillinder & Sons glassware, read this highly informative article, or try here. Other Rampant Lion covered cheese dishes can be seen here and here. To find similar pieces for sale, try here or here.

6 Have Spoken.:

Anonymous said...

That's an awesome piece! Fitting for a Leo too.

Elizabeth said...

I agree! Extra significant!

Jen said...

I admire the research and care you put into this writeup. How did you discover the maker? Is the name stamped somewhere on the piece? I'd like to know how to go about finding more information about unmarked vintage glassware. Would you be so kind as to write more about this sometime?

xoxo Jen

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...


Thank you!

I had a great starting point with this piece. It isn't marked, but my mother-in-law had already narrowed down its origin to two makers. It was easy to find a few visual matches on google images. Based on that, I continued to search using terms gathered from the pages I found. Once I had a broad sampling, I was able to pinpoint information about the dish's origin and approximate its value.

I love taking on research projects like this, and it would be my pleasure to write up my "method." I'll put together a post soon!



Elizabeth said...

I should also note- I've got a post in the queue about another research project I've pursued recently!