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SUNSHINE on my SHOULDERS makes me happy


EARLY GEORGIAN BALUSTER WINE GLASS with TEAR, Engand, c1730 Early George III Balluster Wine with Two Tears, England, c1730


SUNSHINE in my EYES can make me cry




SUNSHINE on the WATER looks so lovely



SUNSHINE almost always makes me HIGH



If I had a TALE that I could tell you, I'd tell a TALE sure to make you SMILE


 GEORGE III ENGRAVED MASONIC FIRING GLASS, England, c1800 George II Engraved Masonic Firing Glass, England, c1750, an early example  GEORGE III ENGRAVED MASONIC FIRING GLASS, England, c1800 George II Engraved Masonic Firing Glass, England, c1750, an early example


If I had a WISH that I could wish for you, I'd make a wish for SUNSHINE for all the WHILE.


(Click on the individual images for linked pages).




"Iconic Suns"

of The Freemasons & The Jacobites



Depictions of the sun exist from the earliest times in almost all cultures.

Suns usually possess attributes of power, of life and renewal.


However, some iconic suns engraved on 18th & early 19th century English and European glass

also represent a history of secrecy, and interwoven spiritual and political cultures - and symbols :

particularly those of the oft-misunderstood fraternity of Freemasons,

and the Scottish-led Jacobite movement.



"The Freemasons" :



"Pop Culture" has recently accused Freemasonry (including America's founding fathers)

of some rather astounding and outlandish deeds.

How about - faking the Apollo landing on the moon -

or actually going to the moon and claiming it for the Lodge in Texas?

Or "humanoid reptiles" being behind the Freemasons??

And, the Google text and symbols having "secret Masonic reference" Right...! And-so-on.....

So before we address "the sun", here is just a little about the Masons -

or Freemasons, as they became known in 18th century England and America.



Freemasons are an ancient order whose origins lie deep in history -

literature placing their beginnings in Biblical times with the building of Solomon's temple.

During the Middle Ages, these builders formed guilds. 

These guilds were comprised of the very gifted architects and stone masons who constructed the

Medieval and Gothic cathedrals and castles still so admired - and standing - today. 

The guilds met in temporary shelters called "lodges" - akin to the literary salons of the 19th century -

for fraternity, and the exchange and preservation of knowledge, goals and ideas.

To preserve this accumulation of knowledge, they developed a picture language of cryptic symbols.

This picture language - actually a short-hand - has evolved into Freemasonry's "secret" symbols

 for rituals of enlightenment, and fraternity, whose purpose is to make good men into even better men.

In England, Masonry can be traced to York, in 946 A.D.


The 18th century became a time of great growth for the Freemasons worldwide.

It spread from the lodges of Great Britain to America and to the Continent.

In 1717, a number of British Masonic lodges united to form Grand Lodge England in London.

With the Lodge gatherings and rituals came dining - and "toasting" -

particularly with firing glasses - so named after the 17th century shotgun salutes.

 In 1721, when John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, was elected "Mason's Grand Master" in London, he

"...was forthwith saluted Grand Mastery Elect, and his health drunk in due form...".


And about 1750,

Freemasons began to engrave their elegant mysterious symbols on toasting glassware. 

These included, of course, the sun.



Woodcut, Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493



Masonic use of the sun is usually paired with the crescent,

and often stars The Masonic meanings were complex and

diverse - mostly to do with "light" (enlightenment) and "balance". 

The sun and moon were generally depicted with human faces -

the faces reportedly derived from early Alchemist drawings,

as depicted above in a 15th century woodcut.




"& The Jacobites" :

(A movement into which, by purpose and by belief, many Freemasons were drawn)



After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Catholic Stuart branch

(begun with James I, son of Mary Stuart Queen of Scots) was exiled.

Following the death of Protestant Stuart Queen Anne,

the exiled Stuarts attempted to retake the throne.

Stuart supporters (Jacobites) rose up against the English Crown to restore the Stuart "rightful heirs" -

the first being James III, shown above in a 1699 Rottiers medal

with "radiant sun" and inscribed "SOLA LUCE FUGAT".



The campaigns of James III to retake the Crown had failed.

The 1720 birth of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie)**  infused new hope for the cause. 

However, the repeated Jacobite "uprisings" had caused their plight to become treasonous.

A secret "information highway", such as existed during the American Revolution, was badly needed.

Coincidentally, many Jacobites were already Freemasons - including Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Freemasonry - with its well developed knowledge of cryptic symbols and secrecy - was a perfect match. 

(It is interesting to note that during his exile in Paris, Bonnie Prince Charlie became so influential in a

Paris Masonic Lodge that a pro-Hanoverian Lodge had to be formed to counter his recruiting efforts).


As with Freemasons, "toasting" was part of the secret ritual of support.

Jacobite glassware was beautifully engraved with cryptic symbols,

as the "Stuart rose" with one or two buds,

or various other flowers as lily of the valley, honeysuckle, even carnations;

the flaming heart; an oak leaf; or cryptic words as Redeat, Fiat, or Amen -

and the star and the sun.

With one of these glasses, a supporter might raise a toast

"to the king across the water",

passing the glass over a bowl of water,the glass then sometimes broken

so that it would not be used for a lesser purpose.



Note that the engraved Stuart (or Jacobite) rose above has six petals,

whereas the traditional Rose of England has 5 petals.



Jacobite use of the sun referred to royalty, and the hoped-for restoration

of the Stuart kings to the throne of England - as did the star. The sun or star

usually appeared beside a 6-petaled Stuart Rose, with one or two buds

representing the living Stuart heirs.  Sometimes sunflowers were substituted for

the rose, as they follow the sunMuch iconography related to Jacobite

cryptic poetry, as well as corruption of existing French and English images.



The Jacobites (comprised of both Catholics and Protestants) battled in vain for about 30 years -


270 years ago, on April 16, 1746, (old calendar , April 27th, new calendar)

Jacobite hopes were forever dashed with the Battle of Culloden** (near Inverness Scotland).

 Prince Charlie's loyal troops were crushed. 

Families were annihilated.  Lands were confiscated.

The native Gaelic language was banned.

Even clans and clan plaids were banned - save for officers of the "British" army.

On June 27th, Bonnie Prince Charlie was smuggled out of the Isle of Skye

 by Presbyterian Jacobite supporter Flora McDonald - disguised as her maid.

The Prince fled to Paris and eventually died in Rome (1788).



Exquisite Masonic glassware remains a tradition from the mid-18th century through the present day.


Despite the Jacobite and Stuart defeat at Culloden, Jacobite "sympathy"

 - and glassware - extended for another 100 years.

 So passionate was the movement that many glasswares were engraved well into the 19th century.


And the Jacobite romance is still "alive and well" in the 21st century.


**CLICK HERE, or above, for more regarding the "Legend of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Culloden"



Also See :





Three Jacobite Glasses : two tumblers, each with a "bird in flight", a symbol for the exiled Stuarts;

a knopped airtwist with "6-petaled rose" and a single bud,

 the rose for the Stuart Monarchs, the bud for Prince Charles Edward Stuart.



"Sunshine On My Shoulders" :

Written by John Denver, released on "Poems, Prayers & Promises", 1971.

"I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call 'late winter, early spring'.

It was a dreary day, gray and slushy.

The snow was melting and it was too cold to go outside and have fun, but God, you're ready for spring.

You want to get outdoors again and you're waiting for that sun to shine -

- and you remember how sometimes just the sun itself can make you feel good."



Click "individual images" of the above glassware to view detail pages,

with additional images and text.


Please call or email should you have any questions.


Millicent Creech

Caroline Kelly

Keith Rainer


901.761.1163 (gallery) / 901.827.4668 (cell))



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

Complimentary Gift Wrapping


mfcreech@bellsouth.net  or  mfordcreech@gmail.com



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 Let the Sun Shine! / 18c Masonic and Jacobite Glassware / Suns