Candlesticks, Oil Lamps and Footed Salvers
A pair of antique glass candlesticks and tapersticks, an open-flame lamp, a lacemaker’s lamp, a patch stand, glass salver and a tazza or two - there are many and varied examples of vintage glassware which the discerning collector may pursue; glass, in the 18th century, was very much the plastic of its day - once the secrets of producing and manipulating the material in a cost-effective manner had become widely understood - and it became ubiquitous in prosperous homes throughout Georgian and Regency times.
Most aspects of domestic life were provided for by the glassmakers of the day; from the production of what we would consider to be the utilitarian, objects such as Georgian wine glasses, along with glass candlesticks and glass oil lamps, to more prosaic and specialised items such as lacemaker’s lamps.
The range of commonly used Georgian and Regency tableware was also broad, but it should always be remembered that ostentatious display was of paramount importance for any self-respecting host to set upon the George III mahogany extending dining table. The extravagant use of Georgian cobalt blue glass tazza sets and pineapple stands, along with footed salvers and other decorative accessories, was considered every bit as important as the associated porcelain and silverware when it came to assembling the constituent parts of a well-balanced dining service.
As ever, we whole-heartedly espouse the use of vintage glassware for practical purposes rather than wrapping collectibles in cotton wool or hermetically sealing them in a display case for drinking glasses; glass tazzas are a case in point; you will be fortunate indeed to come across a complete matched set – they were often made in suites of three or four of varying sizes, and were intended to be stacked one upon the other to make a grand table centrepiece, perhaps laden with jelly and custard glasses – but even single examples will serve perfectly well as elegant cake stands or serving dishes to complement modern table settings. Even pineapple stands, whilst unlikely to make quite such an impression as would originally have been the case, complete with a then very much sought-after fruit, can be repurposed to good effect – though we’re not too sure about the somewhat apocryphal misappropriation which has supposedly seen them used, upside down, for serving trifle.
The antique Georgian period miniature salvers which we have included in this section are somewhat mysterious; their exact purpose is not entirely clear, and they would adequately fulfil the same task as a patch stand, a small sweetmeat dish or a simple bowl, but the phrase ‘miniature glass salver’ appears in the catalogue of the Savory & Moore London (Severn Sisters) glass manufactory from 1798, and so they were clearly an object produced in their own right. Unfortunately, the catalogue neglects to indicate a specific use for the pieces, so we are none the wiser… sugared almonds on the flame mahogany coffee table perhaps.