Regardless of the iteration of The Twelve Days of Christmas you choose to follow, there is little or no variance of the motif for Day One – it’s a partridge, comfortably ensconced in a pear tree.


For all the longevity that this duo have enjoyed, though, we have not come across a single properly antique item which features both of them in concert, so we will have to begin with a separate example for each


Firstly, to the partridge, and an example which predates our Mirth Without Mischief source book having been made in 1756. It hails from Worcester and is therefore a singularly early example of work from the banks of the River Severn dating to barely five years after the foundation of firm, when it was still under the control of the “founding fathers”, John Wall and William Davis.


Tureens in this style were initially sold through Worcester’s London warehouse on Aldersgate Street for the princely sum of seven or eight shillings each (a little less than fifty pounds in modern parlance), so not a hugely expensive piece.


These tureens were made in pairs – a cock and a hen bird on each – and although grey partridge genders are very difficult to tell apart, it’s likely that ours is a hen, given the white colouring around its eye


So – what of the arboreal retreat in which our feathered friend is to be installed ? Well, the answer can be found using the most reliable of Georgian engraved glass dictates, which states that vessels should be bear an image which indicates which particular beverage was intended to be consumed from a particular glass.


The convention was that wine glasses should have vines and grapes, beer glasses hops and barley, that cider glasses be decorated with apples and – of course – perry glasses would have pear trees.


There are other variants of this same ‘labelling’ protocol, with some gin glasses showing juniper berries and those for cordials having flowers, but we need to find a glass with a pear tree to suit our purpose – as the one shown above. This is an exceptionally rare perry glass, with a pointed funnel bowl and a double series opaque twist stem dating to around 1765 - a rare and valuable thing - not, sadly, an item which we have been able to offer for sale ourselves, but a fine thing nonetheless, and just the job for demonstrating the use of a pear tree as a decorative device on period stemware !


Now, as you’re here, why not take advantage of our Christmas Sale – select anything you want on the entire store, and use the code TWELVEDAYS when prompted to get 12% off the marked price – the promotion runs until January 6th, so take your time and browse through the very many items we have listed - the reduction in price applies to all of them...

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