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Tankards and Tumblers

A browse through our back catalogue of antique drinking glasses and Victorian tankards, glass tumblers and antique beakers and you will notice that one word which very rarely applied to 19th century tankards and tumblers was ‘plain’.


The vast majority of antique glass tankards which have passed through our hands have been embellished in one way or another; engraving, gilding, coloured rims, the application of tinted lenses, extravagant cutting or acid etching and combinations of one or more . Whole-coloured examples are perhaps the most likely not to feature other decorative techniques, as the more accomplished use of coloured glass would prove to be an appealing feature in its own right, whether through the use of delicate, pastel tints or dazzlingly bright blues and the very popular magenta/cerise cranberry glass. These colours might be enhanced by the use of flashing or cut-to-clear techniques to create striking contrasts with clear crystal elements.


Towards the end of the 19th century, more strident colour combinations than ever seen before began to appear in antique English glass; swirling enamelled patterns in green and white, multi-coloured spatter glass or crackle-glass designs, perhaps highlighted with glistening aventurine accents. Perhaps the most striking of Victorian colourways was the advent of uranium glass, the neon-green or yellow material which fascinated a populace who slavishly embraced anything which complemented scientific advancement.


There was still room for more traditional techniques, and 19th century hand blown tankards perhaps proved to be the most popular medium on which glass engravers could display their talents since the halcyon days of Jacobite glassware in the previous century. Engraved masonic tumblers seemed to be commonplace, along with armorial pieces, scaled-down versions of commemorative designs which also appeared on rummers, and even tumblers bearing engraved chinoiserie designs, something far more commonly seen on porcelain.


Where there was no imagery or colouration applied to cut glass or clear crystal tankards or tumblers, the glassmaker’s more mechanical skills would come to the fore; there are wrythened examples, some with exquisitely cut and facetted finishes, examples bearing prunts or coiled feet to replicate early roemers, plaited handles and hammered finishes – every chapter of the glass-craftsman’s handbook seems to have been fully explored

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Victorian Masonic Engraved Tumbler Dated 1842

Victorian Masonic Engraved Tumbler Dated 1842

A fine Masonic engraved glass tumbler. Victorian glassware with a history to tell. The brother for whom this was made was a sturdy chap. This is a hefty glass before it is even filled


 'A Present from Newcastle' Engraved Half Pint Tankard c1840

'A Present from Newcastle' Engraved Half Pint Tankard c1840

A late Georgian or Victorian glass tankard, from one of the finest cities in the world. Newcastle. Its not just just St James' park and Newcastle United, but 300 years of industrial heritage in shipbuilding, glass making and silver. A tradition to be prou


A French Enamelled Glass Beaker Applied  Blue Rim c1900

A French Enamelled Glass Beaker Applied Blue Rim c1900

A French glass beaker with aventurine and applied blue rim


A Biedermeier Cut Glass Beaker c1880

A Biedermeier Cut Glass Beaker c1880

A fabulously cut Biedermeier glass Beaker from c1880. For more antique glassware including Georgian drinking glasses, Victorian drinking glasses, and art glass as well as a wide range of silverware and porcelain please visit ScottishAntiques.com


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