Cider Musings

Scudamore Cider Flute

Two views

This flute also called the ‘Chesterfield’ flute, (family descent through the Scudamore-Stanhope family to the Earls of Chesterfield), is a thin soda ‘cristallo’ glass, made around 1650. The oldest glass associated with cider drinking.
It is diamond point engraved with the Royal Arms and the arms of the Scudamore family (three stirrups) within lozenge shaped escutcheon linked by festoons of fruit and flowers, with below, a stag beside a gate and five trees (three lopped and one a stump) and the letter S (for Scudamore) repeated three times. The trees are probably apple trees, since Scudamore had extensive cider apple orchards at Holme Lacy, his estate in Herefordshire. The stump is probably a grafted Redstreak apple on to a root stock, and the lopped trees represent the early stages of pruning and training. By the 1660s cider production at Holme Lacy was a large-scale enterprise. A single redstreak apple tree could produce 300 gallons of cider a year, and by the end of 1667, ten boxes of cider weighing over 55 cwt were sent to London.

Scudamore aspired to be a politician and ambassador but his real success lay in his agricultural expertise, in particular sericulture and the propagation of fruit trees and mulberries. He developed the redstreak variety for cider production and his fame spread with that of the apple, often called the ‘Scudamore crab'.  Scudamore was famed for his hospitality and offering his guests his cider wine.

The flute bears a striking resemblance to a modern champagne flute, a glass designed specifically to keep hold of precious bubbles. Lord Scudamore was known to have experimented in secondary fermentation of cider to make it fizzy.

The flute is now in the Museum of London