Figured bottle

Object Number: 
1937.963
Date: 
ca. 1859
Medium: 
Glass
Dimensions: 
Overall: 10 1/4 x 4 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. ( 26 x 12.1 x 5.7 cm )
Marks: 
in relief: on obverse: "FLORA TEMPLE" and "HARNESS TROT 2.19 3/4 / OCT. 15, 1859"
Description: 
Olive amber non-lead glass bottle blown in a two-part mold with flat collar and string rim, applied scroll handle, rectangular body with rounded shoulders, projecting square panel on obverse with inscription "FLORA TEMPLE" above horse in profile and inscription "HARNESS TROT 2.19 3/4 OCT. 15, 1859" below.
Gallery Label: 
This flask was once part of the folk art collection of Elie Nadelman (1882-1946), the avant-garde sculptor. From 1924 to 1934, Nadelman's collection was displayed in his Museum of Folk Arts, located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The Historical Society purchased Nadelman's entire collection in 1937. This flask depicts the famous race horse Flora Temple. Bred and foaled in 1845 by a man named Samuel Welch of Oneida, New York, Flora Temple achieved a world record on October 15, 1859 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she trotted a mile in a time of 2:19 3/4, becoming the first horse to break the 2:20 record. She was described as "a true stepper with a clean, even, long, low, locomotive stroke", to quote the Spirit of the Times. In an era before television and the Internet, Flora Temple became a national celebrity. Currier & Ives created dozens of lithographs depicting Flora Temple, and wherever she raced, she attracted large crowds of spectators, anxious to get a glimpse of the "Queen of the Turf," as the New York Times dubbed her.
Credit Line: 
Purchased from Elie Nadelman
Provenance: 
The Folk Art Collection of Elie Nadelman
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group