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

No comments:

Post a Comment