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The Jacobites & Their Drinking Glasses by Geoffrey B. Seddon, a profile, revue and price guide for a book about the engraved drinking glasses popular during an unsettled period of British history.
A look at a fascinating period of British history through the engraved glasses of the time

The Jacobites & Their Drinking Glasses by Geoffrey B. Seddon was first published in the UK by the Antique Collectors' Club, who have a reputation for well produced and carefully researched books. This book (the pictured copy being the 1995 1st edition) was printed on Consort Royal art paper and, besides being highly informative, it is a work of art in its own right.

Included are forty-five colour plates and 177 black and white photographic illustrations which show many of the intricate engravings on Jacobean glass. The colour photography was subsidised by the Drambuie Liqueur Company, with many images of artefacts in their possession, while the majority of the black and white images were from the author's personal photographic library.

The book covers a fascinating period of British history, a time full of mystery and subterfuge. The details below include some of the pre-history, not included in the book:

  • From 1371 on, the Royal House of Stuart (originally known in Scotland as Stewart) played a prominent role in UK history, at this time ruling only in Scotland
  • From 1603 James IV of Scotland also reigned as James I of England and Ireland
  • The Glorious Revolution of 1688 saw James II of England and Ireland (also known as James VII of Scotland) deposed. He was the last Catholic monarch of England, Ireland and Scotland and when he was deposed it signalled the end of the Stuart dominance
  • After 1688, and until the 1750s, the Jacobites were supporters of the then exiled King James II (he was exiled in France and, later, Italy), and consequently enemies of William III and Queen Anne
  • The Jacobites were something of a dysfunctional group. Some were committed activists who took to arms, but many remained in the closet - raising their engraved glasses to "the King over the water"
  • Following the 1707 Acts of Union, Queen Anne reigned over Great Britain (which now included Scotland) and Ireland
  • After 1714 the Jacobites were aided by many Tory politicians who had become increasingly disgruntled by the political hold the Whigs had on Parliament

The Jacobites & Their Drinking Glasses is a fantastic window into this unsettled period of British history (particularly after the 1688 Glorious Revolution), viewed through the drinking glasses used by the Jacobites. Revealing the secret Jacobean societies, it is an important source for historians and glass enthusiasts alike. With up to 15% of Jacobian glassware on the market believed to be fake, this book also presents a full chapter to help collectors authenticate genuine engravings.

Colour plates were subsidised by the Drambuie Liqueur Company

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About the Author: Geoffrey B. Seddon

Little information about the author is in the public domain. At the time of printing (1995):

  • Geoffrey B. Seddon had retired after working in medicine
  • He had spent about 25 years studying Jacobite history
  • He was a member of the Glass Circle (which amalgamated in 2019 with the Glass Association to become the Glass Society)
  • He wrote numerous papers for the publications of the Glass Circle
  • He also had published articles in Country Life magazine
  • He pioneered photographic and lighting techniques specifically for engraved glass
  • By visiting museum and private collections of Jacobite glass all over the Uk, he accumulated a huge and detailed photographic record
Most of the black and white images were photographed by the author


List of Colour Plates With Captions




Chapter 1:

  • The Cause
  • The Stage Is Set
  • Saint Germain
  • Jamie the Rover
  • The 1708 Attempt
  • The Succession
  • The 1715 Rebellion
  • The 1719 Attempt
  • The Jacobite Star
  • The 1745 Rebellion
  • The Aftermath

Chapter 2: Charles Edward Stuart

Chapter 3: The Jacobite Clubs

Chapter 4: English Glass in the Eighteenth Century

Chapter 5: Some Jacobite Glasses

Chapter 6: The Jacobite Engravers

Chapter 7: The Jacobite Rose

Chapter 8: The "Amen" Glasses

Chapter 9: The Snake in the Glass


Chapter Notes

Select Bibliography


Glassware of the Jacobite period featured much intricate engraving

Book Outline:

Title: The Jacobites and Their Drinking Glasses

Author: Geoffrey B. Seddon

Published by: The Antique Collectors' Club, 1st edition, 1995

Format: Hardback with dust jacket

Pages: 268, including historical and background text, captions and colour and black and white photographic illustrations

Size Approx: 220x280mm

Approx weight: 1,407g

Estimated Book Value:

If you need values in US dollars, Euros or a host of other major currencies, a currency converter is included in the right hand sidebar of this page, and another in the footer area.

The Jacobites and Their Drinking Glasses, estimated value of the pictured copy, a UK first edition, which is in fine condition in a very good dust jacket, £100

Estimated value of the same book in good condition, with a good jacket, £45