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Sweetmeats and Jellies

Georgian glass sweetmeats, custard cups and jelly glasses – ranges of tableware intended to enhance the formal nature of the Georgian dining experience 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 long stems 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 twists to the stem, moulded fruits impressed on to their lipped bowls, engravings, cut or sliced facets and a variety of other fine finishes. They might also be augmented with lids or covers, although – mas 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, 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 without the need for further. Jellies - mostly with conical or bell shaped funnel bowls, with short stems and high, domed feet - 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. Custards 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.

A Georgian Pan Top Jelly Glass c 1770

A Georgian Pan Top Jelly Glass c 1770

Georgian jelly glass c1770 in excellent condition

£75.00

A Georgian Hexagonal Panel Moulded Jelly Glass c1760

A Georgian Hexagonal Panel Moulded Jelly Glass c1760

A genuine rarity. This Georgian hexagonal panel moulded jelly glass c1770 .Jelly glasses were presented on glass tazzas and were a boon to period cooks who would be assured of a firm set for their desserts . Jellies were both fruit based and spiced or sav

£55.00

A Fine Georgian Domed Foot Sweetmeat c1780

A Fine Georgian Domed Foot Sweetmeat c1780

A Georgian slice cut sweetmeat in excellent condition

£325.00

Georgian Domed Foot Dram Glass With Air Beaded Knop c1750

Georgian Domed Foot Dram Glass With Air Beaded Knop c1750

A rare Georgian bell shaped dram with air beaded knop and domed from c1750. Available from Scottish Antiques online store.

£110.00

A Georgian Monteith Bonnet Glass c1760

A Georgian Monteith Bonnet Glass c1760

A Georgian monteith bonnet glass from c1760. Available from Scottish Antiques online store.

£50.00

Georgian Facet Cut Sweetmeat Glass c1780

Georgian Facet Cut Sweetmeat Glass c1780

Georgian facet cut sweetmeat glass in excellent condition

£325.00

A Silesian Sweetmeat Dish c1750

A Silesian Sweetmeat Dish c1750

This is a rococo late baroque classic ! A sweetmeat, nn "ambrosiaschale" in its county of origin

£390.00

A Georgian Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat Glass c1750

A Georgian Pedestal Stem Sweetmeat Glass c1750

A fine example of the genre.

£375.00

18th Century Domed Foot Slice Cut Sweetmeat c1780

18th Century Domed Foot Slice Cut Sweetmeat c1780

An antique sweetmeat glass. Used in the 18th century to serve desserts such as comfits, preserves, candied peel and preserved cherries. Edward Lambert's "The Art of Confectionary" is s wonderful guide and is available online

£235.00

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.

£350.00

A Georgian Diamond Moulded Monteith Bonnet Glass c1760

A Georgian Diamond Moulded Monteith Bonnet Glass c1760

Originally used for serving spices, try useing it for a dram !

£50.00

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

£250.00

19th Century Nipt Diamond Waies Jelly Glass

19th Century Nipt Diamond Waies Jelly Glass

An English form of decoration that was know in the 17th century

£20.00

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