England, Early 19th Century, Royal Cypher of George III with Arabic 3




Oversize and very thick grey toned glass, in the 'Indian Club' form,
the wide neck with interior matting and a slightly everted lip,
over a tapering body with three horizontal bands of diagonal cutting over a
fourth row enclosing a panel engraved with the British Royal Coronet above G 3 R*, above basal flutes;
the hollow ball stopper with straight and wrythen cutting above a row of horizontal cuttings
tapering to further vertical basal flutes and a matted peg; a polished pontil within a well worn footrim;


*This is the Royal cypher of George III employing the Arabic numeral 3.
The engraver has extended the serif, making the letter R into a B. 

See below explanation.


Condition : Excellent; wear appropriate to age, with only a few very minor nicks to the stopper and upper lip surface;
well fitting stopper; good footrim wear;
slight lean to the right side, likely due to the very heavy weight of the glass


12" High / 4 lbs. 8.4 oz.






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* The Cypher of King George III


The cypher as engraved upon the body of this English Georgian Cut Glass Decanter and Stopper is that of King George III.

The cypher is unusual in that it employs the Arabic numeral '3' rather than the more usual Roman numeral 'III'.

So saying, the cypher of George's father, King George II was often depicted using the Arabic '2' in place of the Roman 'II'.

A further example of the use of 'G3R' is shown stamped in gilt upon the flap of a military cartridge pouch ( below).

As glass is a fairly unforgiving medium, a slight error has crept in where the engraver has been over zealous with his engraving tool.

thereby extending the two 'feet' of the down strokes of the 'R' to appear to form a 'B'.

Given that this decanter was manufactured over two hundred years ago and was thereafter worked and engraved in either natural

or candle light or by the light of an oil lamp in the engravers' workshop, it is inevitable that such errors occur.

In all probability it was not even noticed at the time, as decanters such as these were utilitarian items,

especially so when this particular decanter, as evidenced by the king's cypher was employed, in the service of the Crown

- in all probability in the dining or ante room of an officers' mess in the British Army either at home or abroad.

Again, looking at the crown above the cypher it is only a rough approximation of the Royal Crown,

it is in no way an exact copy - and it is not meant to be.

Subjects of King George knew what it represented -

the authority of the Crown and outward manifestation of the loyalty to the king.



(Heraldric Documentation by John Tunesi, of Liongam, England)










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Large George III Cut & Engraved Glass Decanter; early 19c, Royal Coronet over G 3 R