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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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Large Engraved Masonic Ale Glass c1820

Large Engraved Masonic Ale Glass c1820

Masonic collectibles for sale, check out our online antique shop for more antique drinking glasses

£180.00

18th Century Dwarf Ale Glass c1760

18th Century Dwarf Ale Glass c1760

An antique dwarf ale glass. An 18th century English classic from the antique shop online

£42.00

Georgian Wrythen Moulded Ale Glass c1760

Georgian Wrythen Moulded Ale Glass c1760

Antique drinking glasses to be used and appreciated from the online antique store

£45.00

Georgan Plain Stem Ale Glass c1740

Georgan Plain Stem Ale Glass c1740

A wonderful example of an antique ale glass with a folded foot. To be used and appreciated

£120.00

18th Century Wrythen Ale Glass c1760

18th Century Wrythen Ale Glass c1760

An antique wrythen moulded ale glass to be used and appreciated

£49.00

Engraved Georgian Balustroid Ale Glass c1820

Engraved Georgian Balustroid Ale Glass c1820

A very well formed antique balustroid ale glass with engraved decoration, a rare example for collectors

£65.00

Petal Moulded Ale Glass c1770

Petal Moulded Ale Glass c1770

A Georgian ale glass with a petal moulded bowl for collectors

£55.00

Engraved Georgian Ale Glass With Folded Foot c1750

Engraved Georgian Ale Glass With Folded Foot c1750

An ale glass with engraved hops and barley above a folded foot. Hops and barley was engraved on such glasses to denote their intedned purpose.

£50.00

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

£200.00

Elegant 18th Century Ale Glass c1740

Elegant 18th Century Ale Glass c1740

A fine tall 18th century plain stem ale glass with a bell bowl

£140.00

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

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