From the latter half of 19th century France (circa 1880), this set of three demijohn bottles have hand-painted banners that identify types of wine: Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet.
You might notice air bubbles trapped in our green translucent glass. This is indicative that our demijohns were hand blown. Faint round marks on the bottom of each bottle are further evidence they were hand crafted. These are called pontil marks, made from the point where the pontil rod encountered the glass. Glassblowers used long pontil rods to protect themselves from the heat while holding fresh blown glass.
Each demijohn is a different size and has the capacity marked on the bottom of the bottle. “Merlot” has a diameter of eight inches, “Pinot-noir”, a nine-inch diameter, and “Cabernet” is 10 inches in diameter. Each is marked on the bottom. All the bottles have rough cut mouths, known as a “cracked off finish”, where a cold, wet piece of iron would be used to strike the area where the blow pipe meets the hot glass. The two smaller bottles have ribbed necks, while the larger bottle has a flat neck.
Demijohn comes from the French term “dame Jeanne”, where Jeanne is the feminine form of the Old French name Johannes (John). Legend states that in 1347, Jeanne II, daughter of King Louis X of France, had to seek shelter during a storm. Jeanne stopped at the house of a glassmaker and was given a tour of his studio of flasks. Trying to impress royalty, the glassmaker blew too much air into a recent production, causing the vessel to expand to enormous proportions. In her honor, the glassmaker called his high-capacity vessel a dame Jeanne, which would later become demijohn.
The black letters on gold banners, painted on deep green glass, makes for a highly decorative set, suitable for any kitchen, bar, wine room, or living area.
Dimensions are as follows:
Merlot: H- 12 ¼, Diameter – 8
Pinot-Noir: H – 13, Diameter – 9
Cabernet: H – 14 ½, Diameter – 10
CONDITION: Good antique condition with fleabites to paint. Minor buildup on all three bottles.