The Excelsior Glass Company
Canadian, active 1878–1883
Commemorative goblet, 1880
14.2 x 7.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
This goblet is easily traced to The Excelsior Glass Company, the sole producers of this specific goblet. Clearly marked “St. Jean Baptiste Quebec 24 Juin 1880” on the base, the vessel commemorates the feast day of St. Jean Baptiste. In 1880 the Saint Jean Baptiste Society, an association dedicated to the protection and promotion of francophone culture in Quebec, organized the first National Congress of French Canadians, a gathering of all North American francophone communities in Acadia, the former French colonial empire. The Saint Jean Baptiste Society took as its emblems the maple leaf and the beaver, iconic symbols of Canada that also decorate this goblet. The WAG’s goblet design is perhaps the best known and most desired of Excelsior’s production.