Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Champagne glass 

Place of origin:
 England, Britain (made)
1750-1760 (made)
Unknown (production)
Materials and Techniques:
Engraved glass, with air-twist stem

From the Victoria and Albert Museum:

"Object Type
A typical flute glass of the mid-18th century, of a type made both for strong ale and for champagne. In this case, the elaborate, expensive engraving and the use of vine-leaf motifs indicates that it was intended for sparkling wine - which, in 18th-century Britain, meant champagne.
Design & Designing
Tall flute glasses became popular in the late 17th century. Not only was the high bowl found suitable for engraved or gilt decoration, but if the glass was handled by the stem or foot, the beauty of the contents could be admired while remaining cool. When champagne became popular, the narrow flute glass was naturally chosen because of its ability to preserve the bubbles.
Increasing wealth in 18th-century Britain was not necessarily squandered on punch parties or riotous living. As young men of independent means travelled and became familiar with customs on the Continent, so manners began to improve. Among these, the custom of drinking champagne - always expensive because it had to be imported from France in its bottles rather than in barrels - became firmly rooted. For example, in the 1760s William Zoffany painted William Ferguson Celebrating his Succession to Raith, showing a group of friends with champagne flutes, and bottles in a wine-cooler packed in ice. Today, Britain remains France's best customer for champagne."

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