"Amen" Wineglass

The front is engraved with the crowned cipher JR 8; the dates 1749, Tenth of June, and XX December; and the word Amen in a scrolled oval. The sides and back are engraved with the complete Jacobite anthem (a prayer for the restoration of the Stuart monarchy) and the words To His Royal Highness PRINCE HENRY Duke of Albany & York.

Artist/maker unknown, English, engraving probably Scottish

Geography:
Made in England, Europe
Probably engraved in Scotland, Europe

Date:
1749

Medium:
Lead-crystal glass with diamond-point engraved decoration; drawn stem

Dimensions:
7 7/8 x 3 7/8 inches (20 x 9.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 114, American Art, first floor, Case 21, English & Irish Glass

Accession Number:
1953-29-4

Credit Line:
The George H. Lorimer Collection, 1953

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Label:
Although most of the known "Amen" glasses have only the first two verses of the Jacobite anthem, this glass is engraved with all four. The Tenth of June and XX December are the respective birth dates of James Edward and Charles Edward, members of the Stuart royal family who had aspired to the throne. The inscription on the back of the glass mentioning Prince Henry as the duke of York may be an allusion to the duke becoming a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in 1747. Prince Henry was the last of the direct male Stuart line and his appointment was considered the deathblow to Jacobean hopes.

Additional information:
  • PublicationGlass

    This is one of about twenty known "Amen" glasses, four of which are in the Museum. They are so-called from the prominent "Amen" inscribed after the verses of a prayer for the restoration of the Scottish Stuart dynasty to the throne of Britain. Since the deposition of James II (James VII of Scotland) in 1688, the British had been divided between the Jacobites (Roman Catholic and Tory supporters of the Stuarts) and the Protestant Whigs, who wanted to maintain a Protestant ruler on the throne. There were several unsuccessful attempts to reinstate the Stuarts, from James Edward (1688 - 1766), son of James II and popularly named the Old Pretender, to his son Charles Edward (1720 - 1788), the Young Pretender, or Bonnie Prince Charlie. The latter, and the cause, were finally defeated at the battle of Culloden Moor in 1746.

    All these glasses bear the same verses, the crown and cipher JR 8 (Jacobus Rex VIII), and scrollwork decoration, engraved with a diamond point; some have an added inscription to the Old Pretender's second son, Henry. Their inscriptions and provenance from leading Highland Scottish families (this glass was from Drummond Castle, Perthshire) show that the engravings must have been commissioned as an affirmation of loyalty to the Stuarts (the majority of loyalists were Highland Scots), although the glasses are of a type produced in Newcastle in England. The similar formal decoration and neatly engraved script suggest that they were the work of one person, perhaps a Scottish metal engraver. Of the dated "Amen" glasses, the earliest is from 1743 and the latest, 1749. Betty Elzea, from Guides to European Decorative Arts: Glass (1984), p. 30.

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