Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118a

Wine Glass

1760-1775 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
English wine glasses of the 18th century vary considerably, not just in form but also in capacity. The tiny bowls on these examples suggest that they were used for strong sweet dessert wine, or even perhaps for the cordials that were sometimes drunk at ladies' tea parties.

Design & Designing
The technique of English lead glass was perfected in the late 17th century. The material was successfully applied first to drinking glasses with heavy baluster stems, then to the drawn-trumpet glasses where the stem formed part of the bowl, and finally to the air-twist or 'wormed' stemmed glass of the 1730s. During the 1750s a huge variety of intricately twisted white enamel stems were substituted for the air-twist, although air-twist was cheaper and still continued to be produced. These stems with their lacelike white enamel inclusions should have been very expensive to produce, but they were not individually made. Their manufacture necessarily involved long lengths of stem being simultaneously twisted and pulled across the glasshouse floor. Individual stems were then simply cut off to suit the height of the drinking glasses. The fashion for enamel stems had almost disappeared by about 1780.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Blown and wrought glass, with opaque-twist stem
Brief Description
Dessert wine glass, England, 1760-1775
Physical Description
Foot: plain; Stem: opaque-twist; Bowl: ogee
Dimensions
  • Height: 14.0cm
  • Diameter: 7cm
Dimensions checked: Registered Description; 01/10/1999 by RK
Style
Gallery Label
British Galleries: A sweet wine was offered with the dessert. It was served in delicate glasses designed specifically for the purpose.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by C. Rees-Price, Esq. and Mrs Jeanie H. R. Price.
Object history
Made in England
Summary
Object Type
English wine glasses of the 18th century vary considerably, not just in form but also in capacity. The tiny bowls on these examples suggest that they were used for strong sweet dessert wine, or even perhaps for the cordials that were sometimes drunk at ladies' tea parties.

Design & Designing
The technique of English lead glass was perfected in the late 17th century. The material was successfully applied first to drinking glasses with heavy baluster stems, then to the drawn-trumpet glasses where the stem formed part of the bowl, and finally to the air-twist or 'wormed' stemmed glass of the 1730s. During the 1750s a huge variety of intricately twisted white enamel stems were substituted for the air-twist, although air-twist was cheaper and still continued to be produced. These stems with their lacelike white enamel inclusions should have been very expensive to produce, but they were not individually made. Their manufacture necessarily involved long lengths of stem being simultaneously twisted and pulled across the glasshouse floor. Individual stems were then simply cut off to suit the height of the drinking glasses. The fashion for enamel stems had almost disappeared by about 1780.
Collection
Accession Number
C.345-1925

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record createdDecember 13, 1997
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