Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 27 March 2015
B. Smithers, 1914
These are the style of glasses we drink wine from every night. I have loads of them, and have just bought the two either side of centre for not much money.
They all date from between 1790 and 1820 and are usually offered for sale in antique shops at about £70, but I have never paid more than £30 for any. The pair which arrived today are immaculate, and I paid £10 each for them. They replace two which were broken a while ago.
The one in the centre is my dedicated glass, and I couldn't let 2014 pass without mentioning the engraving on it. Sorry about the crap photo (again) below, but it gives you an idea of the amateur style.
It is diamond-engraved with the name, 'B. Smithers', and has the date '1914' below, set above a laurel leaf motif.
Because 1914 was the year of the beginning of the First World War, and because the laurel wreath motif is usually reserved for military honour, I cannot help thinking that B. Smithers was a soldier in that war, and this may have been used in the mess - possibly by him or in his honour as a memorial.
It is difficult to know if he was killed in the outbreak of WW1, or if he just engraved the glass to mark it. The title of this post is of the engraving, just incase a relative types his name into a search, as I have fruitlessly done before.
The glass was already 100 years old when it was engraved - exactly 100 years ago. The unknown soldier?