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JACOBITE GLASSES & THEIR SYMBOLS

 


 

 

Again this April, we do homage to the legendary plight of the

Jacobites & Bonnie Prince Charlie in restoring the Stuart reign,

and their final defeat on the moors of Culloden,

16th April, 1746.

  

 

 

In 1714, the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne, died - without heir.

In 1702, Anne ascended to the throne of England,

before which time she had lost 17 children, both to still-birth and disease.

She was only 37 years of age.

Yet Anne proved both popular and powerful -

her will oft prevailing even in an age of male dominance,

and despite grave illnesses of her own.

Among her triumphs was the union with England of Scotland -

which the Stuarts (Stewart)** had ruled since the 12th century -

and wherein most wished passionately to see the Stuart monarchy retained.

This intense passion was shared by many in England, Wales and Ireland.

 

Anne’s father, James II / James VII (d. 1701), had been deposed and exiled for

political and religious reasons; and his son, Anne's half-brother, James III, was thought

by many (including the European royalty) to be the legitimate heir to the British throne.


However, once more for religious and political reasons (Act of Settlement),

the throne went to the closest cousin - Prince-Elect of Hanover (Germany) - George I.

 

This set the stage for the treasonous Jacobite plight :

to return "the rightful Stuart heirs" to the British throne -

its impassioned loyalties, its battles, its coded and cryptic language and images -


 And, Jacobite Engraved Drinking Glasses.

 

 

 

James Stuart, the 'Old Pretender', (center) sets foot on Scottish soil, Peterhead, 22nd Dec.1715,
an effort to regain the throne which failed; sided by his sons - the 'Young Pretenders' :

Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), and Henry Stuart (Cardinal, Duke of York)

 


 

The Cryptic Symbols

(The Glasses Linked & From Our Stock)


Part of the Jacobite issue : "Divine Right" -

"The monarchy was inherited, and appointed by and responsible only to God".

This belief superseded religion, geography and time.

Societies and clubs in support of 'Divine Right' go back to the Commonwealth era.

These groups met in secret - either as small gatherings, or in 'clubs'.

Toasting the King's health was always a part of the ritual -

often passing a glass over a bowl of water,

toasting 'the King across the water', for those in exile.

 

During the George I reign, toasting the exiled James III was serious offense.

By the mid-18th century, during the heat of the 'Jacobite uprising',

such actions had become a risk of death or at least imprisonment -

thus the cryptic words and symbols,

so beautifully - and treasonously - engraved on Jacobite glasses.

 

I might add at this point that Charles Edward Stuart had lived his entire life in France,

hearing that he was the legal heir to the throne of England, Ireland and Scotland.

However he spent only one year - June 1745 to April 1746 - on British soil

- at the age of 25 -

fighting to restore the Stuart reign, the final defeat being Culloden.
 


 
The most familiar Jacobite symbol is the 'Stuart 6-Petaled Rose',

 

   

the '6th petal' being somewhat of a mystery in origin.

 

  'Rosa x Alba' grows all over Scotland.

It is a bushy shrub-like rose with grey-green fern-like compound foliage

and a small 5-petaled flower.

Both the red 'Rose of England' and,

the above right white 'Rose of Duke of York', exhibit 5 petals.

However, the white rose of glassware, symbolizing the Stuart reign,

exhibits 6 petals, and is usually accompanied by one or two buds  -

the buds referring to James III, Charles Edward Stuart, and / or Henry Stuart.

(Note : Henry became a Cardinal in Rome, never making claim for the throne).

 

In the years leading up to the final battle at Culloden (1746),

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 cryptic way to identify a supporter of 'the cause'.

Another legend tells that Bonnie Prince Charlie, en route south to start the '45 Rebellion,

plucked a white rose from the roadside and stuck it in his hat.

 

One of the earliest 'Jacobite' references to the Scottish white rose

is at the birth of James III, 10th June, 1688.

This day is said to be 'the longest day of the year in which the white rose flowers'.

Below is a Huguenot produced English provincial silver box, West Country, c1688,

engraved to the top with the 6-petaled rose :

 

Interestingly, other such late 17th century provincial silver boxes,

engraved with 6-petal-roses, are indeed known -

but thus far, apparently not the exact origin of concept.

 

 

George II Airtwist Jacobite Wine
with 6-Petaled Stuart Rose, Two Buds,

a 'Boscobel Oak Leaf', and a 'Star'

England c1755

 

The oak leaf (and acorns) represent the tree in

which Charles II escaped the Cromwellians in 1651.
The
star represents Royalty and the
hoped-for restoration of the Stuart kings.

 

 

             

George II Pattern-Moulded Jacobite Wine

With 6-Petaled Stuart Roses

and Scottish Rose 'Compound Leaf' Sprays

raised on a solid shaped stem

above a Folded Foot,  England, c1750

 

The folded foot faded out of use c1750

due to taxation of glass by weight.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the reference -

this difference being purposeful

To own these glasses was an act of treason.

George II Engraved Light Baluster Wine
Of Possible Jacobite Interest, England c1750
The rim engraved with a band of
6-Petaled Flowerheads sided by Compound Foliage,

each flowerhead with concave polished center.
 

 

 

George III Jacobite Facet-Cut Wine

With a 6-petaled polished rose between three buds,

raised on a facet-cut stem,  England, c1780

 

Even after hopes of regaining the throne had faded,

Jacobite 'sympathy' remained throughout the century,

and to some extent - until today.

 

 

 


 

A lesser known symbol is the 'Carnation' :

The carnation has a cryptic meaning : 'Carnation' / 'Coronation'.

As well, it stands for the 'Jacobite Cause', and an 'Omen'.

1720 was a low point for the 'Jacobite cause'.

An unusually early blooming of carnations in the January

after James Edward Stuart's 1720 birth was regarded as 'a sign'.

And the tombs of both pretenders were strewn with carnations until 1898.
 

 

 
George II / III Jacobite Wine
With Composite Stem, Carnation and Moth

England, c1755-60

 

"The moth is connected with
'the return of the soul' and 'Stuart Kings',
as all Scotsmen are said to return to their
native lands.

 

 


 

Another lesser known symbol is the 'Daffodil' :

Daffodils symbolized 'hope'- the return of spring - and return of the Stuart reign.

Also the 'Bee':

Bees symbolized both 'fertility' and 'resurrection to a new life out of decay'.

 

 

 

George III Jacobite Opaque Twist Wine

With Daffodil & Bee, Moulded Bowl

England, c1760

 

Moths, bees and butterflies all have similar
cryptic references - 'the return of the soul'.

 

 

 


 

'The Bird in Flight' :

The generic portrayal of the Stuart heir as a bird, either fleeing or returning, was widespread.

Various types of birds were referenced on glassware, as well as by

supportive writers and poets. Quite often the bird is depicted as a crested Jaybird.

Reasons cited range from the allusion to the name 'James', to 'Aesop's Fables'.

 

 

 

George III Jacobite Wine

With Stuart Rose and Bird in Flight (verso)
with hatched center & 6 concave polished petals,

Bowl base cut as rose petals
England, c1775

 

 

The foot cutas a 6-Petaled Stuart Rose

 

 


 

A Selection of Other Symbols :

Sunflower

Honeysuckle

Forget-Me-Not & Jacob's Ladder

Thistle

Compass (usually on decanters)

Crests (rarely)

Portraits (rarely)

Various Mottoes

Various coded words - a few are :

Fiat, Redeat, Redi, Resirescit, Radiat, Turno Tempus Erit;

and the most highly prized word of all : 'Amen',

diamond point engraved c1740 'Amen glasses' ,

most of which are now in museums.

 

Most Jacobite glasses were made post-1746, to c1790, as Prince Charlie died in 1788.

There was also a resurgence of Jacobite interest in the 19th century -

 the tradition actually continuing today.

 


 

**The Name 'Stuart' :

 The Scottish Royal 'Stewart' monarchy - and name - go back to the 12th century,

the name deriving from 'steward' - the political office similar to governor.

The Stewarts remained monarchs of Scotland until 1707.

The English 'Stuart' monarchy began in 1603, with James I (right),

 son of the beheaded Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (depicted together above)

Brought up in France - and briefly married to Francis II,

Mary had adopted the French spelling 'Stuart'.
 


 

Jacobite Interest Related Links :

 

 Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie)

'The Legend & Culloden'

  

Rare Jacobite Interest George II Hanoverian Silver Spoon

Inscribed for Henry Stuart, Cardinal, Duke of York,

beneath the Royal Coronet and above a Cardinal's Hat
 

  

 George III Pierced Silver Server

The curved blade centering three crested Jaybirds among daffodils and strapling foliage
 

 



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Jacobite Drinking Glasses & Their Symbols ; M. Ford Creech Antiques