Georgian Tankards and Georgian Glass Tumblers

Georgian glass tankards and Georgian glass tumblers, together with rummers, are amongst the most useable of 18th century Georgian drinking glasses. I have a very good friend in Kent who goes to his local pub, The Old House in Ightham, carrying a mid 18th century hop and barley engraved mug with a gadrooned bottom and ribbed handle. From the glass collector’s perspective this type of behaviour cannot be condoned, however, as a fellow beer lover I admire him greatly. The glass holds a half yard (a pint and a quarter) but he only pays for the standard pint!

Typically hand blown tankards of this period sit on a foot ring that is either plain, conical or folded, and some are found with folded trumpet feet. They are generally baluster-shaped and can be plain bowled or feature gadrooning to the base with some earlier examples having “nipt diamond waies” – trailed decoration around the top of the bowls. Snapped pontil marks will be found underneath the high kick base.

Another attractive feature is that many can be found with coins set into the base of the bowl, the most common date to find is 1787 which is the only year of coin minting for King George III. Without these coins many such tankards could easily be mistaken for earlier examples as the form was produced over a long period of time.

Period tumblers and small beakers are widely used by collectors they are the perfect drinking vessel for for a nip of whisky. Some of the better wheel engraved flip glasses carry personal period engravings and are quite captivating. These vary from Jabobite symbology to the rhymes created by the love-struck heart and they still resonate today. Political message engravings are not uncommon, as well as those wishing “success to…” various commercial ventures, societies and even race horses! In the late 18th and certainly by the early 19th century pontil marks were polished and the bases of tumblers became less concave as the possibility of scratching a surface with the base was this reduced.

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