Actually the last contest of 2013, too, as it will take the whole year to determine if anyone qualifies. See, yesterday TVO ran episodes of BBC2's Antiques Uncovered to fill in the gaps in the Christmas Day schedule. It was fairly interesting but at one point a small conical glass was shown on screen which was described as a Georgian ale glass. As you know, I am the proud owner of a modest 1940s Keith Murray mug as well as an 1840s pewter quart pot from the Talbot Hotel in Northamptonshire. Now I need something older. I want an ale glass from the 1700s.
Apparently, in the 1700s very strong ales were sipped from these things. Like the one in the Rake's left hand. Above is the top view of one decorated with barley and hops was posted to the internet by an eBay vendor but you may be able to find one of these in your town or your Grannie's dining room cabinet for all I know. Via Twitter today, Martyn Cornell and I agreed that they were very fine things and that the hunt was now on. Here is the deal. I need to know by December 31, 2013 that you have one, how much it cost and how you got a deal. The same glass bought for $200 delivered from a shop loses to the guy who found one for 15 euros at a yard sale. The canny shopper wins. Extra points for the best etching. Extra extra points for the best story. And this is not just limited to the small glasses. If you can convince me that a rummer from 1720 trumps a lead glass tankard from 1790 all the better. As long as a George was on the throne when it was made and it was made before 1800 it counts. And if it's from a colony or even Loyal pre-Revolutionary America all the better. Here are more images to get you thinking.
Prizes will be magnificent. I can say that with confidence over 370 days from any real responsibility. Proof of the actual existence and ownership will include photos with other known folk witnessing you drink from it as well as bills of sale sent by email attachment. No messing about on this one. And I am in the running. We'll need a panel of judges for this.