M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
GEORGE III CUT & ENGRAVED GLASS SUGAR-LOAF DECANTER
England, c1780, Masonic Interest
The body with high shoulders in "sugar-loaf" (or mallet) form, resembling the "Masonic maul" and
engraved with three Suns in Splendor within swags of ovals and stars
suspended from floral and foliate sprays with corresponding dependent drops,
above a horizontal band of further ovals and stars, and arch-shaped basal flutes,
the faceted neck with plain lip and a lozenge faceted stopper,
the concave base with lightly polished pontil
The likelihood of Masonic interest rests in not only the engraved Sun in Splendor not resting on a torse,
but the decanter's shape in the form of a Masonic Setting Maul
("a symbol, in the Third Degree,
reminding us of the death of the builder of the Temple, which is said to be effected by this instrument…
considered by some to be a symbol of untimely death").
The name "Sugar-Loaf" is taken from the shapes in which sugar was sold in the late 18th century.
"The form was first made about 1750, and enjoyed popularity for about 30 years….
the basic shape, a tapered neck widening to a firmly-formed shoulder
and a body that also tapered outwards toward the base…
.the shoulder becoming less pronounced , and the taper decanter….
remaining popular for the rest of the century". (Great British Wine Accessories, Butler, p.130)
Aside Note : There are a number of other British families who bore as their crest the "sun in splendor".
Among them is Pitcairn of Pitcairn House, Perthshire.
However, the leaning remains toward Masonic use, given the decanter shape and great upsurgance
of Freemasonry at that time, amongst both of the genrty and well-to-do trading classes.
Condition : Excellent, with slight normal basal residue;
several normal very light scratches to the glass
Also See :
George III Scottish Silver Goblet, Masonic Interest, Edinburgh, 1782, William Davie
For a Small Collection of Engraved 18th and Early 19th Century Glass,
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