REF: FA1342


A highly important goblet of Jacobite significance. The folded foot supporting a triple knop stem, each with an incased silver coin relating to important dates of the Mar family. The goblet has a flared bucket bowl engraved with Mars the God of War shaking hands with Minerva, with the goddess Fortuna centre and behind. To the sides Masonic tools, war pennants and weapons, with the rear engraved with a stricken oak.

  • Height 22 cm / 8 "
  • Diameter 9.5 cm / 3 34"
  • Period 1700-1749
  • Year 1740
  • Country England
  • Provenance Private Dutch family collection of important Jacobite glasses for over 150 years, With Frides Lameris, A C Hubbard collection, Allan Milford Collection,
  • Literature The following is an introduction to one of the most important discoveries in recent times of a goblet that I believe has significant 'Jacobite' Importance. Some time ago I was asked to try and unravel the meaning behind the engravings on a superb coin goblet in the possession of a UK collector, this was proving to be rather difficult until a clue was spotted in the BBC programme "A History of Scotland". The clues to the engravings on the glass were found in the renowned plaster work by Joseph Esner on the walls of Dun House in Montrose, built by David Erskine the 13th Laird of Dun, who along with James Erskine, Lord Grange (1679 - 20 January 1754) the brother of John Erskine, 23rd and de jure 6th Earl of Mar, (nicknamed "Bobbing John" for his tendency to shift back and forth from, Hanoverian to Jacobite.) purchased the attainted Mar Estates, The process of resolving the forfeiture of 1716 after John The arch Jacobite had been exiled to France for his leading of the1715 uprising took many years. Other documents make clear that Lord Grange and Lord Dun's intentions were to purchase the Mar Estates to 'provide' for the Earl of Mar's wife and son - Frances, Countess of Mar and Thomas. The story of the design and building of the House of Dun was a protracted one, and involved a number of notable players including his kinsman Bobbing John. Work finally began on the House of Dun in 1730, the design of the house continued to evolve as it was built, with additional ornamentation (plasterwork???) being incorporated at the suggestion of Bobbing John and finally completed in 1743 The superb plasterwork by Joseph Enzer forms the chief glory of the interior of Dun. . The allegorical programme is complex and invites overt and cryptic Jacobite interpretations - a kind of Jacobite Da Vinci Code. Incorporated into the plaster work are numerous allegorical and symbolic references, including Mars the god of War, a play on the name of the Earls Mar, and recalls the Earl of Mar's role as Sword Bearer to the King of Scotland, Minerva, the warrior goddess appears in the opposite cove above Mars. In her other role as the goddess of wisdom she is an appropriate deity in the house of a judge, and is shown along with war pennants and weapons of war. Opposite Mars is Neptune the god who controlled the waters alluding to 'The King over the water, in the cove above Neptune putti festoon the Nature Goddess Venus one of these putti indicates with his staff the navigators lead weight, which is framed by Fortune's sail. It was also noted that one of the plaster panels had been altered from the original design drawing which featured a wine flagon with a single trumpet shaped wine glass suspended from it to one which showed 3 wine glasses each with three knops suspended from the flagon , could there be another two glasses somewhere?? !! Now if we look at the glass in question the engraving begins to make sense, we have Mars the God of War shaking hands with Minerva with The goddess Fortuna centre and behind, we also have the same war pennants and weapons as displayed in the plaster work. Also represented on the goblet are Masonic symbols, as we know there were many Freemasons who supported the Jacobite cause and most members of the Erskine family are believed to have been masons , Thomas, the son of the 6th Earl was himself Grand master of the Scottish Grand Lodge in 1749/50 . There is also engraved what can only be the' Stricken Oak', another well known Jacobite symbol referring to the 'Unfortunate Stuart lineage. Derived from the Boscobel Oak were Charles the 2nd took refuge after his crushing defeat at Worcester, the final conflict of the civil war in 1651. The coins I believe relate to the period during the life of Bobbing John, the top coin being James 11 dated 1687 ,the last Stuart King of Scotland, the middle coin is a George the 2nd coin dated 1732, the year of Bobbing john's death while in exile in France , ; the coin nearest the foot is William and Mary dated 1689, this year has many significances in the life of the earls of Mar, importantly it was the year that Bobbing Johns father the 22nd Earl of Mar died, it was also the year that James was denounced and his rights to both the Scottish and English Crown was removed and the same year that William 111 and Queen Mary 11 were proclaimed King and Queen of England, ;. Surely the dates on these coins cannot be considered coincidence when viewed along side the engraving which replicate the plaster work in Dun House. On further personal study of the plasterwork during my visit at the end of August 2010 it was noted to the surprise of all that it contained 3 Goblets of the same design as the glass, again surely not coincidental. It was also noted that no overt connection to the Masons could be seen in the plasterwork (Masonic devices are engraved on the goblet) though it was noted that the number 3 figured prominently, 3 goblets, 3 toes on the English Lion, 3 fleur de lye's representing the 'Auld Alliance' with France, 3 windows in the room, 3 doors to the room, and possibly most importantly 3 knops and 3 coins in the glass. The Number 3 is the most significant Number in Masonry, for example 'the 3 great supports of Masonry, 3 great lights of masonry, 3 orders of masonry and most importantly the 3 degrees of masonry, could it be that not only the number of knops on the goblet is a reference to the masons but also the coins themselves, being from the bottom to the top a 1 penny a 2 penny and a 3 penny silver coin, the 3 levels of Masonry??. The past history of the goblet which is still under investigation has revealed that its present owner acquired it from a prominent Dutch dealer in antique glass who had acquired it from a Dutch family who appeared to have had it in their family for around 150 yrs, could the goblet have been taken to the low countries from Scotland by an Erskine family member?? It is well known that many Jacobite sympathisers frequently visited Holland. My conclusion is therefore that goblet was probably commissioned by David Erskine, the builder and owner of Dun House, to celebrate the completion of the house and the Earls of Mar his kinsmen, and the families loyalties to the House of Stuart, it should also be noted that another of this large family with many titles descended from the early Earls of Mar ,Sir David Erskine of Cardoss and earl of Buchan has an 'Amen Glass' attached to his name , see plate149 'The Jacobites and their Drinking Glasses' by Geoffrey B Seddon, 1995. Another possibility though is that the goblet (or goblets) was made as a gift at or around the completion of the house by 1 or more of the large extended clan, and I feel a strong candidate for this surely has to be Thomas Erskine' Bobbing' Johns son. David Erskine the house builder along with Lord Grange purchased the attainted estates of the Mars and provided for both Thomas and his mother after Bobbing John had fled to France, Thomas was also Grand Master of the Scottish Grand Lodge in 1749/50 could then the coins and Masonic symbols relate to his father his Grandfather and the Masonic levels?? Peter Adamson September 2011. Erskine Clan History: 
The surname originates from the Barony of Erskine in Renfrewshire, south of the River Clyde, which was held by Henry de Erskine in the reign of Alexander II.  Johan de Irskyne of Lanark rendered homage to Edward I of England in 1296 Despite this, the Erskines resolutely supported the rise of Robert the Bruce, and Bruce's son, David II. appointed Sir Robert de Erskine Keeper of Stirling Castle. He later became Lord Great Chamberlain of Scotland and Justiciar of the North. Sir Robert's eldest son, Thomas Erskine, married Janet Keith, daughter of Lady Eline de Mar, and their son, another Robert, became heir to one of the oldest Celtic earldoms and Chief of the ancient "Tribe of the Land of Mar."  This Sir Robert was made Lord Erskine in 1467. Alexander, 3rd Lord Erskine built Alloa Tower in 1497, and Robert, 4th Lord Erskine was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.  The titular lineage, however, became a trifle complicated during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots when a second earldom of Mar was conferred on John, 6th Lord Erskine, thus making him both 18th and 1st Earl of Mar. As Hereditary Governor of Stirling Castle, Mar became Guardian and later Regent to James VI, carrying him safely at his Coronation in 1567.  The Regent's son, James VI's childhood companion, was appointed Lord Treasurer of Scotland in 1616 and it was he who built Braemar Castle. From him descend the Erskine families of Rosslyn and of Buchan.  For his part in saving the life of James VI in the Gowrie Conspiracy, the earldom of Kellie was created in 1619 for Thomas Erskine of Gogar, grandson of Thomas, 4th Lord Erskine. The 6th and 23rd Earl of Mar, known as "Bobbing John" for his regular switching of loyalties, led the Jacobite Uprising of 1715, and his estates, forfeit to the Crown as a result, were purchased by his brother, Lord Grange, and David Erskine of Dun.  In the meantime, the Alloa properties had been settled on his daughter who was married to her cousin, James Erskine, Lord Grange's son. In 1824, the Mar earldom was restored to the family, who, in 1835, also acquired the earldom of Kellie.  However, the Mar titular complications once again arose in 1885 when, under the Restitution of Mar Act, the more ancient earldom was claimed by one family, and the second earldom was retained by a cousin. This has led to their currently being two Mar earldoms, although the Erskine Chiefship is today held by the representative of the earldoms of Mar and Kellie. Sir Alexander Erskine of Cambo. Lord Lyon King of Arms, also supported the Jacobite Cause and was imprisoned. Charles Erskine (1739-1811) became a cardinal of the Church of Rome in 1803. Sir David Erskine, natural son of the 11th Earl of Buchan. founded the Naval and Military Academy, Edinburgh. Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1745) formed the Secession Church.