The fraternal order of the Freemasons is a philosophical society of civic-minded gentlemen who perpetuate their beliefs through allegory, symbols, and the artisan-implements of the guild from which they are derived. From 1782 to 1788, the Alexandria Lodge, No. 39, of which George Washington was a member, conducted their meetings in local taverns. Ritual toasts and songs were punctuated by participants simultaneously slamming their emptied glasses upon the table. Because the resulting concussion sounded like gun fire, the heavy bottomed tumblers were also known as a "firing glasses." This example is decorated with the lodge's name on one side and Masonic compass and square on the other.

See also decanter and stopper, M-3881/A-B. More

Date

c. 1783-1788


Geography


Material/Technique

Glass


Dimensions

Overall: 2 1/4 in. x 1 7/8 in. x 1 7/8 in. (5.72 cm x 4.78 cm x 4.78 cm)


Credit

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Drury B. Crawley, IV, 1995


Marks

On the front wall of the tumbler's body is the engraving: "Alexandria/ LODGE No 39". On the obverse wall is an engraved compass superimposed over and inverted square.


Object Number

M-3881/C


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save