Thursday, 6 August 2015

Firing glass

Passing through Tetbury I stopped off at one of the antique shops and found this glass in exactly the same spot as I had found it a year ago, when I almost bought it. This time I did buy it.

It's an 18th century 'firing glass', from around 1740. It is also a tear-stemmed trumpet version, which makes it fairly unusual. It is in exactly the same style as my wine glass of the same period, and I love it.

Firing glasses were always short and stubby, with a thick foot. The reason for this is that they were tapped on the table at meetings (Freemasons used them a lot) instead of clapping, and the sound of dozens of glasses being tapped on a wooden table reminded people of a volley of gunshots.

I'm keeping this one, especially since I got it for around half of its worth. The dealer didn't know what it was really for, and for some reason nobody else had bought it. I'll be gloating over it for a long time to come.

Don't worry, I still love candlesticks too.


  1. Very nice, I'd have been tempted by that too; of course I don't have the available funds that you do.

  2. Replies
    1. Looks like it - unless they know something I don't. There are a lot of knowledgeable bastards out there.

    2. I've just re-thought this. All the serious collectors begin to turn their noses up at things they would have loved earlier, and all they crave are the truly spectacular, and truly expensive glasses - it's an obsession. This one is worth about £150, but I know people who have spent £40,000 on one glass from the same period.

  3. I would have bought it too if I could have beaten both you and Frugal to it. I must say that whenever I see an old glass or an old candlestick I always think of you Tom. (no offence meant)

  4. Replies
    1. Once common, now not so. Always expensive, though.