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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 wine glasses 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 befitting of strong ales. 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. Georgian drinking glasses and antique beer glasses do enhance the drinking experience even with modern beer styles and lend themselves well to Belgian ales, IPA, barley wine and imperial stout.


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Wrythen Moulded Ale Glass c1780

Wrythen Moulded Ale Glass c1780

Wrythen Moulded Ale Glass c1780

£45.00

Superb Regency Petal Moulded Ale Glass c1815

Superb Regency Petal Moulded Ale Glass c1815

An early 19th century petal moulded ale glass. Sharp well defined petal moulding

£50.00

A Georgian Ale Glass c1770

A Georgian Ale Glass c1770

A very fine Georgian ale glass from c1750 in excellent condition. For more antique glassware, including a wide range of Georgian drinking glasses, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£110.00

An Engraved Georgian Ale Glass c1800

An Engraved Georgian Ale Glass c1800

There is a small particle of clinker in the bowl from manufacture

£65.00

An Engraved Georgian Ale Glass with Folded Foot c1745

An Engraved Georgian Ale Glass with Folded Foot c1745

An engraved Georgian ale glass with excellent grey tone in the glass

£145.00

A Fine Early Engraved Ale Glass c1745

A Fine Early Engraved Ale Glass c1745

The funnel bowl engraved with ears of barley in saltire and a hop flower and leaves. This has an excellent dark hue.

£145.00

Georgian Plain Stem Ale Glass c1780

Georgian Plain Stem Ale Glass c1780

Georgian Plain Stem Ale Glass c1780

£70.00

Engraved 18th Century Ale Glass c1745

Engraved 18th Century Ale Glass c1745

An ale glass that tells you ist purpose via the engraving

£145.00

Two Georgian Petal Moulded Ale Glasses c1810

Two Georgian Petal Moulded Ale Glasses c1810

A very fine early pair of 19th century petal moulded ale glasses in excellent condition. For more Georgian drinking glasses and a wide range of other antique glassware please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£55.00

Georgian Ale Glass With Facet Cut Stem c1780

Georgian Ale Glass With Facet Cut Stem c1780

A good early Georgian ale glass with a facet cut stem. One of the most useable forms of antique glassware this would make an exceptional champagne flute. For more Georgian drinking glasses including air twist stem, opaque twist stem, and facet cut stem wi

£145.00

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