Drink

Collecting objects relating to wine is as much a passion for some people as drinking it is for others. The subject embraces a huge range of objects and there are societies for collectors of wine labels and corkscrews, which of course are also made in materials other than silver.

Beakers, goblets, and wine cups come in a range of forms depending on the period they were made; so too do tankards and mugs, for drinking beer. They have survived in substantial quantities in Europe and, to a lesser extent, in America despite heavy use. From the seventeenth century there are posset or caudle cups. There are fewer jugs and flagons for pouring drink, but wine coasters (for holding bottles and decanters) are also still bought for use, made in both silver and Sheffield Plate. As well as labels and corkscrews, smaller items in this field include: wine tasters, bottle stoppers, and wine funnels and syphons. Grandest of all, however, are wine coolers and cisterns, to be filled with ice for cooling bottles.

When the wonderful claret jug illustrated was made, wine making had been going on in Australia for at least 50 years, but there is no indication as to how or why someone thought up this kangaroo jug. In the late nineteenth century there was a fashion for novelty items, such as this.

The drinking of tea, coffee and chocolate, lemonades and cocktails, is just too large a subject to be included on this page.

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Photo: Christie’s
Claret jug, Sampson Mordan & Co, London 1882/83