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M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
 

www.mfordcreech.com

 

 


 

  

 


 

"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" is one of the earlier carols, dating to the 16th century,

when it was likely sung in the streets by the night-time wassailers and watchmen. 

As 16th century language was quite different, there are interesting divergences about the carol's meaning and intent -

most especially regarding the words rest, and merry

The word rest, as used, means to keep, to  continue - or to rest assured

However the word merry has variations that range from mighty

(consider 'Robin Hood's Merry Men', and 'Merry Old England', in each case 'mighty' being implied) --

to pleasant, implying a sense of joy.

Similar phrases are found in Shakespeare plays :

As You Like It - "God rest you merry, sir";

The Merchant of Venice - "Rest you fair, good signior"

Romeo and Juliet - "rest you merry". 

As well, the comma is placed before "Gentlemen" - not after - again altering the message.

(I am certain no one meant to overlook the ladies and children -  hopefully they were safe at home?)

So it seems the carol's original intent was to wish continued assurance of a peaceful and  joyful spirit

- despite all darkness, toil, turmoil and uncertainty -

which is exactly what we wish to all of you this Christmas season.

 


 

 

It is often said that "Christmas gifts" take their origin in the gifts of the three Magi,

shown above on a Roman sarcophagus dating from the 4th century.

They brought gold, frankincense and myrrh - each precious, and with varying symbolisms of the day.

Although we have no gold or precious spices, we do have some rather "magical" related treasures -

brought to us from the East just last week - - by DHL. 

Perhaps one of these might prove the perfect way to wish someone :

"God rest you merry"!

 


EARLY CASTER FOR ALL YOUR RARE SPICES


 

 

QUEEN ANNE BRITANNIA SILVER 'KITCHEN' CASTER

Charles Adam, London, 1713

Introduced in early 18th century, and so named because of the scroll handle to the side,

which makes the vessel much easier to handle.

Also known as "kitchen peppers", they were used for sugar and precious spices as well.

 


THREE 18TH CENTURY SILVER CUPS


 

 

EARLY GEORGE III SILVER TWO-HANDLED CUP

William Cripps, London, 1763,

who apprenticed to Huguenot David Willaume;

Of heavy gauge silver,

in the traditional 17th century manner,

 the cartouche with the original owner's initial "M"

GEORGE II SILVER DOUBLE-CRESTED MUG

Richard Bayley, London, 1747

Of heavy gauge silver, crested :

a hunting horn, stringed (Hunter);

on a sheath of arrows fesswise a hawk close

all proper belled (or) (Kenrick)

 

 

GEORGE III SCOTTISH SILVER GOBLET

William Davie, Edinburgh 1782

(Masonic Interest)

The rim at each side engraved with "two hands clasped" -

a Masonic grip, as opposed to a British crest ; inscribed verso with initials

 


RARE & EARLY  CANNON-HANDLED SILVER TABLE KNIVES,

 used for savoring the feast, rather than swinging in battle


 

 

SET OF 8 17TH CENTURY SILVER CANNON-HANDLED DINNER KNIVES

Dating from the period of Charles II to William and Mary (1680-1695)

These are excessively rare, and retaining marked Georgian blades. 

Each bears the original crest for the family of Sandwith (Yorkshire) :

out of a mural coronet a demi-lion rampant, in dexter a fleur-de-lis

 

 

SET OF 8 LATE 17TH CENTURY BRITANNIA SILVER CHEESE (DESSERT) KNIVES

England, unmarked

A very rare set, each 8.25 long, as are dessert knives

Cannon-handled knives date to c1680 and were used through the Queen Anne period.

The hafts bear the remains of an early crest appearing as :

a leg in armour couped at the thigh, garnished and spurred, over either initials or a coronet

 


AND THREE FINE BOXES

 celebrating Liberation, a Royal Couple ... and a man named George


 

 

PAPIER MACHE COMMEMORATIVE SNUFF BOX

France, c1790

Celebrating the 1st Anniversary of Bastille Day

The glass-domed cover

with 3-dimensional figures in papier mache

MOULDED TORTOISESHELL SNUFF BOX

France, early 18th century

A portrait depicting Louis XIV & Marie-Thérèse

 in overlapping profiles below the text :

LOUIS XIV . ET MARIE THERESE

 

 

QUEEN ANNE TORTOISESHELL & SILVER

PIQUE POSE SNUFF BOX

England, c1708

The verso inlaid with the name of the original owner and '1708' in pique pose

 

 


 

Please click on the above illustrated images, titles, or underlined text

for fully illustrated pages.

 "Hovering" your mouse over specific images will also show text for each item.

 


 

The illuminated manuscript above is a leaf from the 15th century "Hours of Etienne Chevalier". 

It depicts the Adoration of the Magi, and is considered one of the finest illuminations of its time. 

 Charles VII of France, as one of the Magi,  kneels in the foreground, presenting a gold chalice to the Christ Child.

Both he and his honor guard bear homage. Behind him are two further Magi and St. Joseph. 

 In the background, a battle takes place - possibly representing not just matters of state, but personal battles as well.  

"Hours of Etienne Chevalier" was painted by the preeminent French painter Jean Fouquet,

and commissioned by Chevalier shortly after his appointment as treasurer of France.

 The above detached manuscript leaf now resides in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France.

 

The earliest text known for "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" dates c1650.  

Untitled, it is noted as "Traditional tune...'Chestnut or (Jack) Doves Figary'" in Dancing Master, 1st edition, 1651.

The text begins :

Sit yow merry Gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay

for Jesus Christ is borne

to save or soules from Satan's power

When as we runne away

O tidings of comfort & joy

 

For a short history of carols (in verse), you can click here - or the first catalog below.

 


 

LAURELWOOD CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE :

Sunday, December 20th through Wednesday December 23

Open Christmas Eve 11:00 - 4:00

Finger Food and Silver Fully Vetted!

 


 

To View Our Other 2015 Christmas Catalogs, Please Click Below :

 

What is Christmas Without Carols - My Favorite Things

 

Santa Baby - Tuck a Little Table Under the Tree for Me

 

Children, Go Where I Send Thee

 


 

 


 

 

901-761-1163 (gallery) / 901-827-4668 (cell)

 

581 S. PERKINS ROAD / LAURELWOOD COLLECTION / MEMPHIS, TN 38117

Hours : Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment

Complimentary Gift Wrapping

 

mfcreech@bellsouth.net  or  mfordcreech@gmail.com

www.mfordcreech.com

 

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What is Christmas Without Carols?  / "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen!