Pair Of Rare Irish Georgian Glass Engraved Stirrup Cup
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Pair Of Rare Irish Georgian Glass Engraved Stirrup Cup:
Pair of Rare Irish Georgian Glass EngravedStirrup Cup
What a Great find. Pair of Rare Irish Georgian Glass EngravedStirrup Cup, etched with floral designs and each in excellent condition, measuring 4.5 inches tall 2 inches diameter and unmarked.
A stirrup cup is a "parting cup" given to guests, especially when they are leaving and have their feet in the stirrups. It is also the traditional drink (usually Port or Sherry) served at the meet, prior to a traditional Fox Hunt. The term can describe the cup that such a drink is served in.
In Anya Seaton novel "Katherine" the custom occurs frequently before English royalty and nobility leave on travels abroad or progresses.
The well-appointed 18th-century American household was furnished for the most part with products made in America. Our affluent colonial ancestors dined at magnificent mahogany tables from New York, sat on elegant Chippendale chairs from Philadelphia, and carved and ate their turkey with cutlery and silverware from Massachusetts. However, when it came to finding glasses to drink from, Americans in those days still had to look back principally to Mother England. Proper stemware was not produced in this country until late in the century.
Fine glass was produced in substantial amounts in England during the entire 18th century. It was usually made from a lead crystal, then referred to as “flint” glass. George Ravenscroft, a glass maker in London, introduced the process in 1676 by mixing lead oxide and potash into a silica batch. The flint glass that resulted was acclaimed almost immediately for its beauty and clarity. Unfortunately, however, Ravenscroft’s early output had a tendency to “crizzle,” leaving an internal network of lines that eventually caused a breakdown of the surface of the glass. But this defect was soon corrected and, by the 1680s, Ravenscroft and others were consistently producing clear, brilliant, uncrizzled glass.
English flint glass tended to be heavier, more stable, and more refractive than the unleaded “soda” glass then in general use on the Continent. During the Georgian period, flint glass became the predominant material in drinking-glass production throughout England and the end products were greatly appreciated by connoisseurs. Flint glass is easily distinguished from soda glass. Besides being heavier in weight, it is also more resonant. It rings beautifully when tapped lightly with a fork, while soda glass gives off a dull thud. Leaded glass also is distinguishable by a faint grayish tinge. Both flint glass and high-quality German and Venetian soda glass sought to imitate the appearance of rock crystal, which is why we now use the word “crystal” for fine glassware.
Drinking glasses in those days came in many different sizes and shapes. They often had bowls, which had a small capacity by today’s standards, two ounces or less. Others were enormous, and were probably used for beer or as ceremonial glasses. Whatever the size, Georgian glasses tended to be well designed, with harmonious dimensions.
English glassware in the 18th century reflected the rise of a consumer culture in England. The fashion-conscious purchaser sought an assortment of different styles and shapes for each drink served. Among the popular shapes were glasses for ale, cordials, various kinds of wine, and “ratafias,” an almond-based drink similar to a cordial. There were tumblers and even special toastmaster glasses. The latter had thick bowls that held a deceptively small quantity of drink, thus enabling the toastmaster to propose numerous toasts and still make it home under his own power.