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Georgian Miniature Salver c.1780


Heading : An 18th century miniature salver
Period : George III
Date : 1760- 1800
Origin : England
Colour : Clear
Bowl : Dish shaped
Stem : Capstan
Foot : Conical
Pontil : Polished
Glass Type : Lead
Size :   5.2cms tall, 9.6cms diameter
Condition : Excellent
Restoration : None
Weight : 190g

This is a true curiosity of Georgian table glass. These are described as being everything from salvers to sweetmeats to patch stands in the literature. This indicates one fact, nobody really knows. We certainly do not but we can add a little colour with some relevant historical facts.

We believe this to be too large to be a patch stand, the "beauty spots" were apparently a quarter of an inch or so in size, this would have held hundreds, surely too many even for the most discerning of belles.

If it was a sweetmeat then these too must have been quite small . There are a few possibilities that appeared regularly on dning tables, small sugar coated "kissing comfits" and "caraway comfits". Our primary source for this is Jane Austen. These were used after eating and during the day to freshen ones breath. Small sugar coasted seeds and nuts flavoured with rosemary and mint. "Kissing comfits" must have been essential prior to engaging in an embrace, most people had rotten teeth and halitosis. Jane wrote about receiving three lady visitors " I was as civil to them as their bad breath would allow me".

We have found contemporary advertisements for tooth powders that will whiten teeth in the British Newpaper Archive, this includes the Bath Advertiser. It is interetsing that the number of entries for tooth powders is outnumbered for those for false teeth. Having spent a wet Sunday reseraching this please forgive the facts. The finest false teeth were made with real human teeth removed from cadavers. Body snatchers would receive up to 30 shillings for a full set in good condition. The source of teeth was not limited to those who died naturally, 'Waterloo teeth" were advertised within weeks of the battle in The Times, the provanance was not given, they may have been extracted from our own heroes or even the French !

Without wishing to offend any "Janeites" I do not believe for one minute that she would have been immune to unpleasant human odours. Bathing was not a daily event, there was no hot water tap and soap was a luxury item. Although I admire her works they are very myopic, with a focus on obtaining a husband to secure financial stability. Men are just objects of desire and thus she could quite rightly be accused of misandry.

On a final note no "kissing comfits" will have been required onboard HMS Victory, it was " Kismet Hardy" the fate or destiny on one of the greatest ever Britons.

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  • Product Code: 2018100802
  • Availability: 1
  • £155.00

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