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Regency / William IV Rare set of Eight Antique Etched Masonic Firing Glasses (Code 1954)

  • £79500


A rare set of eight 19th century Masonic firing glasses. They are all etched with the square and divider motif and have the words 'Yarborough Lodge No 1113' etched around the bowls. This lodge number relates to one in Brighton which is listed as existing in Lane's as #1113 by 1832 and was later warranted in 1860 with the assistance of Lord Worsley whence it became number 811. The glasses appear to be of Regency period design and etching, so the fact that they have the earlier number of 1113 pre dating the warrant accords. These glasses are likely to be of Regency or William IV period, perhaps even produced for the original foundation of the lodge.

The Yarborough lodge met at 'The Old Ship Hotel' in Brighton, which is a particularly historic building dating back to the 16th century and has a long rich heritage. The lodge was referenced as meeting in this hotel by 1860 when it was warranted, so presumably was also meeting there prior to this.

The glasses come with a wooden box, which is probably of later period, the latch type is one usually found in the early 20th century. The box also does not fit the glasses particularly well, so was perhaps re-purposed.

The glasses themselves are very sturdy as befitting firing glasses and of thistle shape. The capacity is reasonably generous for this type, although the walls thicken significantly at the base in the same way that an illusion or toastmasters glass does. The glasses are free blown and there are differences between them due to this. There are also signs of use particularly to the bases as would be expected for firing glasses. Wear to the bowls is quite limited suggested they were not in everyday use. The fact that eight have survived together is quite exceptional and a particularly rare opportunity for the collector.

The Yarborough name comes originally from Lincolnshire and some information can be found in Williams Dixon's reference book published in 1894 about the Yarborough influence in establishing lodges.


Glasses generally good for period and use, and to find eight survivors is very unusual. Some wear to the bases, some small impact knocks around the bases, some of which have been polished out - likely contemporaneously to their use as no attempt has been made the hide the remedial work. One glass with a small flake chip to body. A few minor rim nicks, but nothing to spoil the look. Box later and somewhat ill fitting for the glasses.

Measurements (Approx)

Height: 8.8 cm ( 3 1/2 inches )

Width: 6.7 cm ( 2 5/8 inches ) across rim average

Weight: 2930 grams (before packing).

Stock Code: 1954 NV19-1



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