M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
GEORGE II TALL BALUSTER 'KIT-CAT' TYPE WINE GLASS
The drawn trumpet bowl raised on a teared stem centering an inverted baluster
above a cushioned domed folded foot; snapped pontil
Glasses of this type - with plain stem and central or lower baluster -
are often referred to as 'Kit-Cat' glasses.
This 'Kit-Cat' debated reference is to glasses depicted in fellow member Sir Godfrey Kneller's c1721
painting of two members of the Kit-Cat Club (see painting below),
a London dining society which began meeting during the 1690s at a tavern in Gray's Inn Lane
owned by Christopher Cat, a Norfolk pastry cook famous for his 'oven trumpery'.
Cat purportedly gave his name to the mutton pies known as "Kit Cats",
from which the name of the club is possibly derived.*
Between 1700 and 1720, Kneller painted each of the 42 members,
these portraits now hanging in the National Portrait Gallery, London
Sir Godfrey Kneller, c1721, portrait of Kit Cat members (National Gallery, London),
"Thomas Pelham-lles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne; Henry Clinton, 7th Earl of Lincoln"
Condition : Excellent
6-5/8" High / 3" Diameter, The Foot / 7.4 oz.
* THE KIT-CAT CLUB, from C1688 to the EARLY 18th CENTURY
The membership of the Kit-Cat Club included most of
"the movers and shakers on that astonishingly vibrant cultural and political scene"
evolving after the 1688 Glorious Revolution -
a time which offering new freedoms of initiative, opinion and belief.
The Club's political tone was set by the Whigs supporting the Protestant William III,
vs. the Tory Jacobites, intriguing to restore the exiled Catholic James II.
And of course wine, toasts and food played a quite serious part of these meetings.
In fact, toasting the famous beauties of the day was a feature of their meetings.
It is thought that similar glasses similar to this form
were specifically made for the club's meetings
An interesting aside...
Here is a list of some of the ladies toasted :
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu; Lady Godolphin, Lady Sunderland, Lady Bridgewater,
and Lady Monthermer, all daughters of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough,
except Lady Mary Wortley Montagu who was the daughter of Evelyn Pierrepont,
5th Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull and only 7 years old when toasted;
the Duchess of Bolton, the Duchess of Beaufort, the Duchess of St Albans;
Anne Long, a daughter of Sir James Long, 2nd Baronet and friend of Jonathan Swift;
Catherine Barton, Newton's niece and Charles Montagu's mistress;
Mrs. Brudenell and Lady Wharton, Lady Carlisle and
Mrs. Kirk and Mademoiselle Spanheim, to name a fvew.
Those toasted had their names engraved on a glass goblet
Please note that both the attribution of the club's name -
as well as the glasses - are challenged.
It is possible that the club began at the end of the 17th century
as the so-called "Order of the Toast".
And it is thought that what is known as the "Kit-Cat" glass is slightly later.
The bowl witn good grey tone and glass striation
The bottom knopped baluster stem and domed folded foot
Folded Foot Verso. folding to the underneath
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