Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Antique Silver -Monteiths

Monteith.  Not a word you hear often or an item you hear much  about.   Ok...  What is a Monteith?

 They are considered a wine accessory.  Monteiths were vessels or large footed bowls with notched rims  that were used to chill drinking cups.  The scalloped rims were removable on some examples.  This offfered the option of a punch bowl or in the case of very large examples they became spacious cisterns for chilling bottles.  So named after a Scotsman called Monteith (or possibly Monteigh) that had a fondness for ruffled edges on his cloak.   

 These vessels were made from various materials including wood, copper, porcelain and silver.  Silver was the predominate material for the bowls.  Monteiths have been used for almost as long as wine coolers and buckets.    A silver Monteith with English hallmarks has been documented with a date of 1684/1685.   
Popular through the last two decades of the 17th Century; cups were suspended by the foot from the scalloped edges in ice water in order to chill them.  Large and ornate with decorative scalloped edging; the bowls held court on grand carved sideboards at parties of the affluent.   After all, it was only the affluent that could afford them.

As customs and fashion ebb and flow; the use of silver cups faded and glass became the choice for serving wine or other spirts.   The use of the grand scalloped bowls diminished.  Today, Monteiths are mainly seen in museums; however, fine examples can be found at major auction houses and a few well known antique shops.  

Below are a few examples from the  Albert & Victoria Museum in London.   Their website makes a visit so easy, no plane tickets or hotel reservations, just click the link. 

                              Farrell, Edward ---  Albert & Victoria Museum
                                                       Silver Gilt 
                          Creator, unknown---Albert & Victoria Museum

                        Leeds England Pottery---Albert & Victoria Museum

                                                           Jingdezhen, China (made) Porcelain
                                                 Date:ca. 1700-1715
                                         Albert & Victoria Museum

Monday, November 5, 2012


Back home from Florida where my son was married on St. Pete Beach.  This was our second wedding in less than four months!  Our youngest daughter was married in Manhattan over July 4th weekend.  We have been keeping family and friends very busy these last few months.  From now on they get to choose their vacation destinations.  It has been an interesting six months; finishing our cottage in Aiken,  moving in, and two weddings.

Wedding favors, specialty items, and wedding ideas abound on the web today.  One word of caution; you may become sleep deprived in a short span of time once you begin the search.  I found myself checking out website after website then glancing at the time..oh dear 2am…well just a few more pages…oh  dear 3am…well one more page.   If only I could have convinced my husband and dog to sleep just a bit longer on those mornings.  They are both early risers and showed me no mercy.

My daughter introduced me to Etsy and Pinterest when she was planning her wedding.  Yes, I am quite behind the times, most everyone has heard of the two sites.   So I thought I would share some items I came across while planning the rehearsal dinner for my son and his fiancée which was held at the Don Cesar in St. Pete.  The dinner was in an outdoor pavilion and the wedding was on the beach at sunset.  The Don is quite pink and known to locals as the “Pink Palace” so we went with all white linens accented with sand colored burlap runners.  We ordered gallons of sea shells and starfish which were bleached wedding white.  Piles of shells, starfish, and dozen of glass votives decorated all the tables.  Before saying goodnight to our guests we passed out favor bags and encouraged everyone to fill them with shells and starfish.   If yo u decide on a beach wedding; happy shelling on the web!

                                 The Don Cesar from their website

                           The beautiful ocean front from their website

Beautiful Shell Seating Place Cards on Etsy

                                      The Bride's Beach Slippers


              Luscious white and dark chocolate shells with brown sugar sand