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Firing Glasses and Drams

Georgian firing glasses and drams are highly collectable, these are the miniatures of the genre.  A dram is a measure of whisky, the water of life. Before the unwelcome European metric system a measure of one dram in an Edinburgh Inn was a quarter of a gill, a gill being a quarter pint, or 5 fluid ounces if you prefer. Thus a dram was 1/16th of a pint or one and a quarter fluid ounces. In England where the more temperate sassenachs roamed, a dram was one fifth of a gill, a little less than in Scotland where it is wrongfully claimed people are mean - quite the opposite when it comes to dispensing measures of whisky, it woud appear ! Nowadays a metric dram is just 25ml, smaller than even the old English measure of 28.5ml. An excellent reason to vote for Independence from Europe will be the promise of "return to the full dram", but I digress...

Small Georgian dram and gin glasses are delightful. My favourite glass of all is a Jacobite engraved dram glass that I slip into my pocket when wandering Auld Reekie of an eveing. The firing glass should really be called a firing foot glass. The bowls have a small capacity and were used for toasting and still are today amongst the "Freres Macon". When the latter day "shot glass" had been consumed it would be slammed into the table, thus requiring a thickened foot to avoid unseemly breakages. It is said that when the assembled throng at a Jacobite Society meeting or the notorious anti-catholic Hell Fire Club did this in unison the sound was reminiscent of a volley of muskets, hence the name firing glass. There are many stem types, opaque twist, colour twists, plain and baluster. The engraved examples with drinking club and society names and those with masonic engraving are widely collected.

Firing feet are not restricted to small drams and the like, and may be found on larger glasses such as short cordials, gins and ale glasses, these though are very much in the minority. One of the absolute rarest must be the opaque twist "captains glasses" standing around ten inches tall and normally having a terraced firing foot. You should not assume that the name relates in anyway to a nautical theme - the captain in this instance would have been the nominated head of the table at society meeting clubs and the like, and he would have sued his glass to rap on the table to call for order. The most readily available example to view of these particularly rare glasses is illustrated in A Wine Lovers Glasses - the A.C.Hubbard Jr Collection, a must have book for those who aspire to owning a fine collection of glass. You may also like to take a look at https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19675/lot/119/

Please don't try slamming firing glasses on tables in your local bar, unless on very good terms with the proprietor, and you can afford the period replacement - some rare examples have been known to fetch four figure sums.

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Rare Masonic Engraved Terraced Foot Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

Rare Masonic Engraved Terraced Foot Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

Masonic engraved antique dram glass with a rare terraced foot

£620.00

18th Century Plain Stem Firing Dram Glass c1740

18th Century Plain Stem Firing Dram Glass c1740

A wide selection of antique drinking glasses for sale at the scottish antique shop online

£115.00

18th Century Plain Stem Dram Glass c1740

18th Century Plain Stem Dram Glass c1740

Antique dram glass with a plain stem. Having a dram from a stemmed glass seems to positively affect the appreciation of a good malt

£90.00

Pair of Georgian Dram Glasses c1750

Pair of Georgian Dram Glasses c1750

Free blown antique dram glasses with folded feet from the 18th century

£85.00

Rare Masonic Engraved Terraced Foot Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

Rare Masonic Engraved Terraced Foot Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

A masonic engraved antique dram glass with a rare terraced foot

£620.00

Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

A rare variant of opaque twist stem glass, shorter with a smaller bowl and with something stronger in mind

£190.00

Rare Engraved 18th Century Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

Rare Engraved 18th Century Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

An engraved variant of the opaque twist dram glass for sale

£375.00

George IV Dram Glass with a Lemon Squeezer Foot c1810

George IV Dram Glass with a Lemon Squeezer Foot c1810

Three antique dram glasses,

£48.00

Rare Georgian Terraced Foot Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

Rare Georgian Terraced Foot Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

A rib moulded antique dram glass with a rare terraced foot

£540.00

18th Century Opaque Twist Firing Glass c1760

18th Century Opaque Twist Firing Glass c1760

An antique opaque twist dram glass to be used and appreciated

£245.00

Rare 18th Century Single Seiies Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

Rare 18th Century Single Seiies Opaque Twist Dram Glass c1760

A rare antique opaque twist dram glass, the single series opaque twist, the rarer of the two opaque stem types

£310.00

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