M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
 

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THE SEASON of

LIGHT & REFLECTION(S)

"Girl With Christmas Tree", 1892, Franz Skarbina (1849-1910) Collection Stiftung Stadtmuseum, Berlin

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,

Let "the sparkling" beguile

As it flickers and glows :

 


GLASS!

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.

These 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, "reflecting back" 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 mused "reflections".

George II Walnut Veneer & Parcel Gilt Mirror, England, c1730

George II Walnut Veneer & Parcel Gilt Mirror

England, c1730

A stately mirror with well patinated early surfaces of grained walnut and gilt,

housing an antique shallow beveled mirror plate, 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

George I Burr & Straight Grain Walnut Dressing Table Mirror & Bureau

England, c1720-25

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.

George I Burr & Straight Grain Walnut Dressing Table Mirror & Bureau. interior

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 color of good wines,

as well as reflecting on the surfaces of the glass,

become a fleeting "fine art" f the moment...

much to be remembered on the morrow!

Some glasses also recall a story of their own :

Engraved ALE GLASSES 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!

Three Mid-18th Century Jacobite Glasses

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

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

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 "Kit-Cat" glasses,

referencing glasses depicted in fellow member Sir Godfrey Kneller's c1721 painting

of two members of the Kit-Cat Club (detail below).

The London dining society began meeting during the 1690s

at a tavern owned by Norfolk pastry cook, Christopher Cat.

 Cat was famous for his "oven trumpery",

 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.

"Thomas Pelham-lles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne; Henry Clinton, 7th Earl of Lincoln" Detail, Sir Godfrey Kneller, c1721, Kit Cat members, National Gallery, London

Detail, 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"

 


& 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.

 

Daffodil symtolizing 'hope' (as spring) for the  Stuart return

Jacobite "Bird in Flight', when they hoped would return

Jacobite Sunflower, symbolizing the return of the "sun" (or Stuart reign)

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

 6-petaled 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  "cockade", as a folded ribbon (below right), was also a cryptic symbol,

worn for the then secret and "treasonous" support of the Stuarts.

6-Petaled Jacobite (Stuart) Rose"Prince Charles Edward Stuart", c1750 (detail) , Mosman, National Galleries, Edinburgh

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 :

to "illuminate" anything you wish to place upon it, along with all the space around it,

from "good-for-you" fruit, to Christmas morning frosted buns!

A George II Glass Tazza, England, c1750, with unusual stem

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.

So Merry Christmas to all -

And perhaps a "new sight"

May be a small gift

From us on this night.

"The Adoration of the Magi", Georges Trubert, c1480-1490, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

 


Legend :

 

"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

 

Inventory Photography : Millicent F. Creech

 


 

901.761.1163 (gallery) or 901.827.4668 (cell)

 

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The Season of Light & Reflection(s) : GLASS; M. Ford Creech Antiques