Masonic Decanter

What is AAT?

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (r) is a structured vocabulary for generic concepts related to art and architecture. It was developed by The Getty Research Institute to help research institutions become consistent in the terminology they use.Learn More

Object Name: 
Masonic Decanter
Accession Number: 
2003.4.2
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 25 cm, Diam (max): 11.6 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
about 1783-1788
Web Description: 
This decanter is engraved with the number "40" and the initials "I.T." The number must refer to the Masonic lodge in Charleston, South Carolina, which was Lodge No. 40 only from 1793 to 1788, when its number was changed. No other American lodge had that number in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The initials indicate that the decanter was made for John Troup, a prominent Charleston lawyer and Mason, who had warranted the lodge's application for membership to the Philadelphia lodge in 1783. There was a gala dinner in that year to celebrate the granting of the warrant, and it is likely that Troup ordered the decanter-or received it as a gift from the lodge-at that time. In the 1780s, the only American glassworks that produced lead glass was located in Kensington, near Philadelphia.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Stradlings, Former Collection
2003-02-06
Category: 
Inscription: 
No G 40 / I = T
Inscription
Engraved On one side of decanter Engraved text is surrounded by a ring of leaves
Primary Description: 
Almost colorless glass with pale grey tint; blown, ground, engraved. Pear shape decanter, wider at base and narrowing to neck. Decorated with engraved masonic symbols, leaf sprays, and initials "IT".
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 3) (2012) pp. 86, 683; BIB# 61154
The Gather (2004) illustrated, p. 2;
Recent Important Acquisitions, 46 (2004) illustrated, p. 215, #7; BIB# AI69240
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2003 (2004) illustrated, p. 11; BIB# AI93746
The John Troup Decanter: Saluting Freemasonry in 18th Century America (2003) pp. 151-166;