M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
THE SEASON of
Turn off the lamp.
Turn on the "tree"
And let all the lights shine,
Dancing reflections to see.
'Tis the season when dark
Turns back into light,
And hearts open wide
From each twinkle in sight.
So with eyes of a child,
A "new world" to know,
As it flickers and glows :
As November approaches, we enter the season of "Advent" -
a time intended to look inward - and backwards -
in preparation for the new light, and life, of The Nativity.
The Advent season seems to be completely at one with glass - most of all
THE MIRROR :
the "old" kind with softened, gray diffused glass -
just as our memories have often become.
mirrors seem to symbolize that moment wherein,
somehow, yesterday and today become fused.
And all the "whomever's" who have peered into that glass
are still there,
to us, probably in wonderment
at both the personage and strange new world here on the "outer side",
just as we wonder about theirs -
often many years - but just a pane of glass - removed.
Below are two recently acquired early mirrors,
to join you, in your
George II Walnut Veneer & Parcel Gilt Mirror
A stately mirror with well patinated early surfaces of grained walnut and gilt,
housing an antique shallow beveled
still with good reflectivity.
The carving is of very high quality. And it measures 52" High
George I Burr & Straight Grain Walnut Dressing Table Mirror & Bureau
The highly figured walnut with early surfaces and excellent color;
retaining the original
mirror plate and antique brasses,
above a miniature replica of a bureau for both writing and / or toiletries,
the fall front opening to a figured writing surface and shaped fitted interior.
It also features a lower drawer. And yes, the key works.
We don't know the purpose of the two brasses on the crest -
a potpourri pot has been suggested.
The case has two square support 'lopers', usually indicating a date prior to c1720.
Measuring 34.75" High x 17.75" Wide
AND THE DRINKING GLASS :
As with all festive seasons,
both in daylight and by the "flicker of candlelight",
we celebrate - and reflect - with fine wines and ales.
It is a tradition of the ages!
The beauty of a good glass can greatly enhance both the wine -
and the experience - be it an larger "occasion", or private moment.
There is often a softness to early glass that is imparted onto the beverage.
Further, the beauty of
light enhancing the
of good wines,
as well as
reflecting on the surfaces
of the glass,
fleeting "fine art"
f the moment...
much to be remembered on the morrow!
Some glasses also recall a story of their own :
remind us of the ale's birth from tended fields of hops and barley,
so depicted upon their bowls;
whilst further illumination emanates from the
highly reflective intricate twists within the stems -
all particularly nice with pale ales!
Above are Two Early George III Engraved Ales Glasses, c1760
The left, An Early George III Ale
having a double series opaque twist stem;
The right, A George II / III Ale
with an airtwist stem,
and each engraved to the body with hops and barley among scrolls.
And in the center,
A Late George III Glass Tankard, Engraved "Ethel Randle from A.D" England, c1800-1820
I have been told that sometimes these small engraved tankards
are also known as
"bridal" or "marriage" tankards,
being indeed used for ales, at the occasions.
The inscription of this small tankard certainly does imply either marriage, or a "love token".
Some drinking glasses hold
(along with their contents)
stories of mystery, intrigue and even passions from our past,
including the particular tall balusters of London's "KIT CAT CLUB"
(late 17th and early 18th century) :
George II Tall Baluster "Kit-Cat" Type Wine Glass, England, c1730
having a plain stem (this one with a tear) and central or lower baluster.
Glasses of this form are often referred to as
glasses depicted in fellow member Sir Godfrey Kneller's c1721 painting
of two members of the Kit-Cat Club
The London dining society began meeting during the 1690s
at a tavern owned by
Norfolk pastry cook, Christopher Cat.
Cat was famous for his
and purportedly gave his name to the mutton pies known as "Kit Cats".
The club had very strong political and literary associations.
However, it is thought that these glasses were specifically made for the club's meetings -
a feature of which was the toasting of famous beauties of the day.
Detail, Sir Godfrey Kneller, c1721, portrait of Kit Cat members (National Gallery, London),
"Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne; Henry Clinton, 7th Earl of Lincoln"
& THE JACOBITES :
Recalling a period and movement in British history filled with great passion and devotion -
the "Stuart" quest, ending in 1746, and often yet remembered with honor and ceremony.
Two Jacobite Interest Cordials, England, c1765
The left, engraved example with
a daffodil, and
crested bird in flight,
over a double series opaque twist stem.
("Daffodils" symbolize "hope"- the return of spring, and akin to the sunflower, the return of the Stuart reign).
The right, engraved with a
sunflower and forget-me-not sprays, a crested bird in flight
on the reverse,
over double series opaque twist stem.
(The "sunflower" and 'forget-me not" are associated with the return of the sun and the Stuart reign).
(The "bird" in each represents "the king who
had taken flight and was hoped would return'",
In 1746, a defeated Prince Charles Edward Stuart finally "took flight" to the Continent,
where he had grown up, hearing most of his life that he was king of
England, Ireland and Scotland.
In the Center,
A George II / III Jacobite Airtwist Wine, c1755-60
A heavy glass raised on a rather rare domed foot, and engraved with a
Jacobite rose sided by one bud and leaves on thorny stems.
The 6-petaled rose
on thorny stems is the traditional and best known of the Stuart symbols.
A white rose
as a folded ribbon (below right), was also a cryptic symbol,
worn for the then
secret and "treasonous" support of the Stuarts.
Legend has it that Bonnie Prince Charlie, en route to Culloden to start the '45 Rebellion,
plucked a white rose from the roadside and stuck it in his hat.
For the finale!
A GEORGE II GLASS TAZZA with AN UNUSUAL STEM
"illuminate" anything you wish to place upon it, along with all the space around it,
from "good-for-you" fruit, to
A George II Glass Tazza, England, c1750
The rimmed tray raised on a most unusual
bulbous 8-sided ribbed pedestal stem
with multiple basal collars and a domed folded foot / 8.25" Wide, 6" High / 24.9 oz.
Once was a star
Shining in the black night
Making a promise
Of new life and might.
It led kings from afar
With gifts and great cheer -
Which we repeat to this day,
At this time of year.
to all -
And perhaps a
May be a small gift
From us on this night.
"Girl With Christmas Tree",
1892, Franz Skarbina (1849-1910)
Collection Stiftung Stadtmuseum, Berlin
"Thomas Pelham-lles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne; Henry Clinton, 7th Earl of Lincoln"
Detail, Sir Godfrey Kneller, c1721, portrait of Kit Cat members, National Gallery, London
"Prince Charles Edward Stuart", c1750 (detail)
known also as Bonnie Prince Charlie, 1720-1788;
William Mosman, National Galleries, Edinburgh, Scotland
"The Adoration of the Magi"
Georges Trubert, c1480-1490,
tempera colors, gold leaf, gold and silver paint, ink on parchment,
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Photography : Millicent F. Creech