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
Notes on this Decanter :
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.
Literature : To be illustrated in the 2017 edition of The Decanter, Andy McConnell
This encyclopaedic new edition of The Decanter (available late Fall)
bolsters the book's reputation as the definitive work on the subject.
Researched and written by Andy McConnell,
journalist and long-serving glass specialist on BBC TV's Antiques Roadshow,
The Decanter, is born of twenty years' extensive research.' - ACC Publishing
Condition : Excellent, with slight normal basal residue;
several normal very light scratches to the glass