Georgian pedestal stem wine glasses, also known as Silesian stems or panel stems, are purported to have been the preferred wine glasses of King George I (1714-1727), the first of the Hanoverian Kings of England - although born a German. There will be much more on this later - see Jacobite engraved glass.
There are some fine examples of pedestal stem wine glasses of lead metal in the V&A with crowns and sceptres moulded onto the shoulders or quadrant of the stem. Examples are known that commemorate the coronation of George I. Other decorations such as diamonds may also be applied to the shoulders and the foot.
The metal of these glasses has a propensity to be brighter than Balusters of the same period and academics have attributed this to their production on the continent as well as England. Continental soda glass examples are relatively common but the quality is usually very poor indeed.
Pedestal stems themselves evolved from four to six to eight sided as the century progressed. Funnel and trumpet shaped bowls are the most common bowls on pedestal stemmed drinking glasses, Thistle shaped are also rarely found. Pedestal stem glasses are predominantly inverted baluster in form. The rarest forms of pedestal stem drinking glasses include knops both above and below the pedestal and may contain tears. Candlesticks are predominantly true baluster pedestal stems.
Pedestal stemmed sweetmeat glasses are more common than their drinking glass equivalents, with domed and panel moulded feet. These were produced for a much longer period than drinking glasses. Champagne glasses are also to be found with pedestal stems and may be mistaken for sweetmeats or vice versa.
Unlike the balusters the pedestal stem glasses do benefit from period engraving and the most delightful of are by the Dutch engravers. We have had many fabulous examples.