Gargoyle Butter Dish, c. 1890
Round cut-glass butter dish has a silver-plated holder and lid. The cut design of the dish includes fluting on the rim; a wedge-cut pattern of diamonds, crosses, and Xs on the body; and a wedge-cut starburst on the bottom. The holder comprises a reeded top rail, a smooth bottom rail, four scroll-design legs with modified claw-and-ball feet, and scrolled vine handles that terminate in gargoyle heads. The fluted lid has a pineapple finial and fits into the bowl. The underside of the holder is imprinted with a maker's mark for Joseph Rodgers of Sheffield, England. Dish, 5Dia. x 2.125T. Overall, 7.5W x 5D x 4.625T. From England.Historical BackgroundA gargoyle is a grotesque ornamental figure or projection. They were originally designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building. Typically depicted as winged humanoids with demonic features, generally horns, a tail, and talons, they are said to be guardians of the buildings on which they reside.