Molded in the shape of a three-footed kettle, this unique glass vessel was one of 15 similar pieces recovered from the SS Republic, a number of which were found with a matching lid. Its small size suggests it was designed as a condiment or candy container and was possibly intended for use aboard the ship by the passengers or crew. If packed among the cargo, the pieces may in fact, represent the remains of a larger shipment lost at sea.
While the use of the kettle-shaped pot remains unclear, by at least the turn of the century, figural glassware produced in a variety of interesting shapes such as this item was often filled with colorful candy pellets, and when eaten, became a child’s toy. The bottom of the container is embossed with the letter M or W, perhaps the stamp of the glassmaker; yet the identity of the manufacturer remains unknown.
Replicas of this artifact are available for purchase here.