Smoking, drinking and the British sweet tooth

Masonic wine glass

Made in England, about 1770
Glass, with engraved decoration

Object number 26.36/1
Given by Mr Ormrod, 1936

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Masonic wine glass

This magnificent wine glass is engraved with symbols of Freemasonry, an organisation which developed from the late 16th century. It was probably used for communal drinking rituals.

By the time this cup was made, in 1770, slavery was a major factor in the British economy and the commodities produced by slave labour were shaping British culture. Wine and punch were popular drinks which were both often sweetened with sugar from the Caribbean.

This information was provided by curators from Gallery Oldham.