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Monday, November 26, 2018

Crucibles or shot/wine glasses?

Ironstone's Heritage Museum has on display several crucibles that were recovered from the 5000 ft level of the Historic Argonaut Mine in Jackson, California. They spent the last 99 years as part of a private rock collection recently purchased by Ironstone owner, Mr. John Kautz.

The Argonaut Mine deposit was discovered in 1850, ultimately reaching a vertical depth of 5,570 feet via a 63 degree shaft.  The mine operated until 1942 producing more than $25 million in gold.  Unfortunately, it was also the site of the worst gold-mining disaster in the state's early history.  

Along with the nearby Kennedy Mine, it is registered as a California Historical Landmark #786.

Crucibles found at the 5000 ft level of the Argonaut Mine in Jackson, California

Now, back to crucibles... These crucibles are heat resistant containers used to smelt the gold recovered from the mine.  Smelting refers to melting then "burning off" the impurities that gold might be mixed with, resulting in nearly pure gold.

The crucibles you see here in the photo from the Argonaut Mine are in excellent condition with some amazing glaze patterns.

Here in the Museum, we were so taken by the forms and colors of the old crucibles that we decided to partner with our dear friend June Vaughn of Vaughn Pottery to come up with some fun ideas for you to enjoy.  
Our new shot glasses joining the historic Crucibles from the Argonaut Mine.

Shot Glasses?  Wine Cups? Saki Cups?  Whatever you choose!
They are now here and available for you just in time for the Holidays.  Vaughn Pottery created two styles influenced by the originals, in a variety of shapes and sizes.  All sell for $26.  We are excited about these fun ceramic glasses and hope you enjoy them as well.  

You may email cgomez@ironstonevineyards if you would like us to save you one before they are sold out! 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That’s fascinating!