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Ale Glasses

Georgian ale glasses and those made through the ages have for the most part been a reflection of the British character, as befits something designed for use with what has amounted to the national drink for some 400 years or more. Fine continental wines may be best suited to sophisticated, decorative glasses, but the bluff, uncomplicated virtues belonging to the staple drinking diet of the British working man demand predominantly plain, stolid and functional pieces ­ with the occasional nod to eccentricity and extravagance along the way, of course.

It should be noted that for the most part ales ­ and wine-quality ciders which were available alongside them in similar vessels ­ were far stronger than their modern equivalents and in order to make at least a cursory gesture towards limiting the amount of debilitating liquor that might be consumed during one sitting, the glasses were of a relatively small capacity. Known as dwarf or short ale glasses, they were made with only slight variations in form for over 150 years from the late 17th century,
through the entire 18th century and beyond.

Ale glasses from the first half of the eighteenth century with hop and barley engravings to their bowls, folded feet and simple cushion or blade knops account for approximately 15% of all those which are still in existence. A similar proportion are fully wrythen-moulded ale glasses with folded feet. The most common variant is of a similar basic design but with the later conical foot. There is some variety in bowl shapes, the earlier
forms are simple funnels with pointed, round funnels and bucket bowls becoming more common on later examples. Decoration to the bowls was very much du jour ­ for the most part, plain simple "flat" cuts and moulded fluting, and similarly what limited engraving there was in evidence followed similarly staid convention; wheat ears and hop cones for ale glasses, apples, pears and quinces for cider vessels and ­ occasionally ­ vines and grapes for wine glasses.

Ale glasses with air twist and opaque twist stems are often sold as ratafia glasses by mistake (or intent) by auction houses and some dealers. Genuine ratafia pieces have far straighter sides, closer to the vertical, when compared to ale glasses.


 

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Engraved Georgian Short Stem Ale Glass c1740

Engraved Georgian Short Stem Ale Glass c1740

A fine example of a short antique ale glass with a folded foot.

£150.00

Set of Six Georgian Ale Glasses c1810

Set of Six Georgian Ale Glasses c1810

A set of six antique ale glasses. This is a typical form of the period, the age of elegance. Simplicity of form , understated elegance and absolutely functional

£240.00

Tall Georgian Plain Stem Ale Glass c1750

Tall Georgian Plain Stem Ale Glass c1750

elegant antique stemware. A tall Georgian ale glass with a thick stem and a capacious bowl

£235.00

Georgian Opaque Twist Ale Glass c1760

Georgian Opaque Twist Ale Glass c1760

An 18th century opaque twist stem ale glass for sale

£235.00

Engraved 18th Century Opaque Twist Ale Glass c1760

Engraved 18th Century Opaque Twist Ale Glass c1760

A hand decorated Georgian glass made for the consumption of ales, a very collectable piece

£320.00

Engraved Georgian Single Series Opaque Twist Ale Glass c1760

Engraved Georgian Single Series Opaque Twist Ale Glass c1760

A single series opaque twist ale glass, a very collectable piece

£185.00

Engraved Plain Stem Ale Glass c1740

Engraved Plain Stem Ale Glass c1740

Plain stem ale glass for collectors online, please view our vast range of 18th and 19th century glassware

£175.00

Georgian Rib moulded Air Twist Ale Glass c1750

Georgian Rib moulded Air Twist Ale Glass c1750

A Georgian air twist stem ale glass. A superb piece of antique glassware from the mid 18th century with a rare moulded bowl

£220.00

Tall 18th Century Single Series Opaque Twist Ale Glass c1760

Tall 18th Century Single Series Opaque Twist Ale Glass c1760

A Georgian opaque twist ale glass with a single series stem. The long elegant stem is quite unusual for an ale glass

£265.00

Pair of Engraved Georgian Ale Glasses c1800

Pair of Engraved Georgian Ale Glasses c1800

A pair of antique ale glasses with engraved hops and barley, spectacular finds in the world of antique glass

£60.00

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