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Sweetmeats and Jellies

Antique Georgian glass sweetmeats, custard cups and jelly glasses – ranges of tableware intended to enhance the formal nature of the Georgian dining table by punctuating each successive course by the necessity of a whole, new suite of vessels being set before one’s guests. Not only were the different types of tableware distinct in their own right, but they were all made in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles to accommodate specific foodstuffs in turn. Assembling a fully comprehensive dining service towards the end of the 18th century was not for the faint of heart, or for those without deep pockets or capacious sideboards.


The term ‘sweetmeats’ is a rather broad title for both the range of glassware and the comestibles it delivered to the table. As a general rule, they were bowl-shaped dishes set on tall pedestal stems of twist stemmed glasses and would be set at table in a position where they could be used communally, rather than serving individual needs. The foodstuffs they were intended to contain were, for the most part, sweet in nature, hence the name - candied and glacé fruits, marzipan, sugar-coated nuts, crystallised ginger, comfits and Turkish delight – all rather exotic fare that demanded serving pieces of a similar nature.


The glass sweetmeats were therefore suitably ornate with spiralling twist stems, cut or engraved fruits adorned some lipped bowls, facet and slice cuts and a variety of other fine finishes. They might also be augmented with lids or covers, although – as you can imagine – now over two hundred years since having been made, complete pieces are uncommon due to parts been broken or mislaid. Given the rather fancy nature of the delights they were intended to contain, sweetmeats were rarely made from coloured glass; their contents would be sufficiently eye catching in its own right as to be best displayed in clear glass vessels.


For a similar reason, Georgian jelly glasses, custard cups and syllabubs tended to also be made from clear glass, with their brightly coloured confections drawing gasps of admiration from diners. Jelly glasses - mostly with conical or bell shaped funnel bowls, with short stems and a high, domed or conical foot - tend to be relatively plain with large rib-moulded or panel-cut facets, although much finer examples with engraving and scalloped or hand-cut rims do come to light on occasion. Less tall, with bucket or cup-shaped bowls, we find custard cups, many of which have handles, though this distinction would appear to be no more than a modern convention rather than being based on any original precedent for usage or naming, and it should be noted that instances of what are clearly jelly glasses may be found, complete with handles. Custard cups also tend to be of more recent vintage than jelly glasses, dating from the early part of the 19th century onwards, although earlier examples dating back to around 1760 have been catalogued.


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Georgian Facet Cut Syllabub Or Jelly Glass c1805

Georgian Facet Cut Syllabub Or Jelly Glass c1805

We believe this to be a jelly glass however the vendor insists that it is a syllabub. This may well be the case, however, most syllabub glasses have a pan top or are ogee and have a far higher capacity than jelly glasses. This makes sense when the "b

£40.00

Two Jelly Glasses 1800 to1850

Two Jelly Glasses 1800 to1850

Two fine Georgian jelly glassesin excellent condition. For more antique glassware, including a wide range of Georgian table glass, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£35.00

A Georgian Rib Moulded Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat Domed Folded Foot c1750

A Georgian Rib Moulded Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat Domed Folded Foot c1750

A rare Georgian rib moulded, eight sided pedastal stem, folded dome footed sweetmeat from c1750. Available from Scottish Antiques online store.

£265.00

Very Fine Georgian Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat c1750

Very Fine Georgian Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat c1750

A very fine Georgian pedestal stem sweetmeat from c1750 in excellent condition. Available from scottishantiques.com

£425.00

Georgian Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat Glass c1750

Georgian Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat Glass c1750

A fine example of the genre.

£325.00

Pedestal Stem Georgian Sweetmeat Or Champagne Glass c1760

Pedestal Stem Georgian Sweetmeat Or Champagne Glass c1760

A very fine Georgian pedestal stem sweetmeat or champagne glass from c1760 in excellent condition. For more Georgian glass including drinking glasses and tableware please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£240.00

18th Century Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat Glass c1750

18th Century Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat Glass c1750

A rare antique pedestal stem glass with a cut bowl and foot. Vintage glasses for the glass collector

£210.00

A Fine Georgian Domed Foot Sweetmeat c1780

A Fine Georgian Domed Foot Sweetmeat c1780

A Georgian slice cut sweetmeat in excellent condition

£240.00

Georgian Pan Top Jelly Glass c1745

Georgian Pan Top Jelly Glass c1745

A very fine pan top jelly glass from c1745 in excellent condition. For more antique glassware, including a wide range of Georgian drinking glasses, please visit Scottish Antiques online store

£90.00

Georgian Jelly Glass with Gadrooned Base c1830

Georgian Jelly Glass with Gadrooned Base c1830

A very fine Georgian jelly glass with gadrooned base from c1830 in excellent condition. For more antique glassware, including a wide range of Georgian drinking glasses, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£45.00

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