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Dishes, Bowls and Wine Rinsers

By the mid 19th century, finger bowls had – as a necessary addition to the well-fettled dining table – started to become a non-requisite, as the convention by now was to provide diners with cutlery and napkins, rather than leaving them to tackle their meal unarmed, as it were. The use of these small vessels, however, persisted, with their use becoming more a part of the acutely observed dining ritual than a practical accessory.


They would, generally, be bought to table along with dessert plates or bowls, placed on these larger dishes on top of a clean napkin. Serving staff would then attend to the guests, filling the bowls with cold or tepid water, often with a slice of lemon or sprig of mint or rosemary floated on the surface. On the completion of the final course, convention was to dip the fingertips of each hand lightly in to the water, drying them in a seemly fashion.


In the 19th century as an integral part of the dinner service, finger bowls simply followed the decorative style of their respective associated glassware sets. Early 18th century “seau a verre” we made independently.  They did afford the opportunity for a little more flamboyance and although there are few surviving services consisting entirely of coloured-glass items, finger bowls in blue, green, amethyst and the ubiquitous Victorian ruby and cranberry colours are far from uncommon. 


We have also chosen to include the range of ‘miniature sweetmeats’ in this overall category – single-serving sized stemware bowls which are collectively known as ‘compotes’ after the stewed or poached fruit in syrup desserts which they were almost exclusively used to present. Similarly, there are other ‘miscellaneous’ dining vessels sherbet bowls, ice dishes and plates and sugar bowls.


One legacy which remained unchanged from the Georgian dinner table was the wine glass rinser – small, generally rather simple bowls with lipped or scalloped rims to hold the stem of wine glasses as they were placed in water for cleaning as wine varieties were changed to accompany successive courses. Rinsers were cut and facetted, frosted or – occasionally – engraved and presented in conjunction with matching stands on which each individual rinser would be presented.


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A Bohemian Blue Flashed and Engraved Footed Bowl c1900

A Bohemian Blue Flashed and Engraved Footed Bowl c1900

An blue flashed and engraved footed bowl from the 1900's. Available at Scottish Antiques online store.

£60.00

Four Victorian Finger Bowls ( Two Shown) c1860 Was £95

Four Victorian Finger Bowls ( Two Shown) c1860 Was £95

A pair of 19th century finger bowls with beautiful engraving

£65.00

Four Engraved Victorian Wine Rinsers c1860  ( Two shown)

Four Engraved Victorian Wine Rinsers c1860 ( Two shown)

A pair of 19th century wine rinsers with beautiful engraving

£95.00

Six Engraved Victorian Double Lipped Wine Rinsers With Stands c1890

Six Engraved Victorian Double Lipped Wine Rinsers With Stands c1890

This is a marriage but it is a happy and practical one

£210.00

Six Victorian Glass Ice Plates c1890

Six Victorian Glass Ice Plates c1890

Originally used to keep comestible cool at the dining table. When filled with ice they wil hold six oysters, native or rock. A bowl may also be stood on the base and ice packed around to chill the butter or dessert therein

£130.00

Six Double Lipped Victorian Wine Glass Rinsers c1890

Six Double Lipped Victorian Wine Glass Rinsers c1890

This is a very decorative set that refract light beautifully. Ideal for candlelit dinner

£130.00

Six Victorian Wine Glass Rinsers c1880 Was £125

Six Victorian Wine Glass Rinsers c1880 Was £125

Save on washing up, use one wine glass and rinse it between white, red and dessert wines. Antique glass to save the planet

£90.00

Victorian Cut Glass Serving Bowl c1845 - Was £30

Victorian Cut Glass Serving Bowl c1845 - Was £30

A 19th century cut glass serving bowl to be used and appreciated

£15.00

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