Great Britain, Late 18th Century




The large tapering lead glass centering the conjoined script initials WS
between two ribbon-tied sprays with 4-petaled flowers,  
ending in 6-petaled Scottish Roses
with concave petals and cross-hatched centers,
the reverse with a crested bird in flight (likely the Jaybird)
holding in its beak a further Scottish Rose compound-leaf,
all below a rim engraved with a band of X's and concave O's,
the base with slender upright concave flutes;
the verso with lightly polished pontil.


Condition : Excellent; small fold in glass at rim, in the making;
minor expected surface scratches; no chips, cracks or repairs


4 5/8" High / The Rim, 4" Wide










The Bird in Flight :


"Bird in Flight" : the generic portrayal of the Stuart heir as a bird, either fleeing or returning,
was widespread : see songs such as "A Wee Bird Cam to Our Ha Door".*
The "bird" in this ballad (below) is thought to be a symbol for Prince Charlie.

The word 'waes' means 'woes'.


A wee bird cam' to our ha door
He warbled sweet and clearly,
An' aye the o'ercome o' his sang
Was "Wae's me for Prince Charlie".
On hills that are by right his ain
He roams a lonely stranger
On ilka hand he's press'd by want,
On ilka side by danger;
Yestreen I met him in a glen,
My heart maist burstit fairly;
For sairly changed indeed was he—
Oh! Wae's me for Prince Charlie.


Various types of bird were referenced on glassware, and by supportive writers and poets
who wished to avoid being denounced as "Jacobite sympathizers".
Quite often the bird is depicted as crested Jaybird.
Reasons cited range from the allusion to the name "James", to Aesop's Fables.


* (Material Culture and Sedition, M. Pittock, "Appendix, Index of Symbols, Cant and Code")


See additional text below regarding the "Stuart White Rose of Scotland". 





Showing the 6-petaled rose with concave petals, one of which is on either side of the "WS"









The White Rose of Scotland :


Rosa x alba grows all over Scotland.
It is a bushy shrub-like rose with grey-green fern-like compound foliage,
and a small five petaled flower, one blooming in white, and another, pink.
In the 18th century, the white rose became a symbol of the Jacobite cause -
but having 6 rather than 5 petals..

The exact origins of this rose as a symbol are somewhat lost;
however, one of its earliest references is to the birth of James Francis Edward Stuart,
(son of the deposed James II) who was born on 10th June, 1688.
This day is said to be "the longest day of the year in which the white rose flowers".


Legend also has it that Bonnie Prince Charlie, in 1745,
plucked a white rose from the roadside and stuck it in his hat,
as he made his way south from Glenfinnan to start the final Rebellion at Culloden*.


In the years leading up to the final battle at Culloden,
Jacobite followers were forced to meet and plot in secret.
The white rose or white cockade (a flower made from ribbon, often worn on a hat)
became a way to identify a supporter the cause.
The 6-petaled rose was also engraved on drinking glasses,
usually accompanied by one or two buds.


* For the "Legend of Bonnie Prince and the Battle of Culloden", please click here








Also See :



George III Jacobite Lead Glass Tumbler, Bird in Flight and Cryptic Stars



For a Small Collection of Engraved 18th and Early 19th Century Glass,

Please Click Here, or the Image Below







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George III Jacobite Large Lead Glass Tumbler, 18th Century