Ceramic Spirits Flasks
Earthenware and stoneware flasks were usually made to hold spirits, but some of the ‘ring’ (or ‘hole’) flasks and other highly figural flasks may have been simply ornamental. Other boot shaped flasks may have in fact been Victorian boot or shoe warmers, these being filled with hot water and then placed inside footwear prior to wearing.
“Reform flask” refers to the numerous flasks which were made to commemorate the people and events linked to the Parliamentary Reforms of the 1830’s.
Many spirits, such as ‘Old Tom’, which was a well known brand of cheap gin, were decanted straight from the barrel to refill customer’s personal flasks.
Earthenware flasks are, however, in many cases much rarer than their stoneware cousins as they (mostly) appear to have been made in far fewer numbers, as well as being more easily damaged through use.
Many potters produced both salt-