Relevant categories: Silver Plate
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A silver plate Monteith punch bowl is basically a vessel whose purpose is to cool wine glasses. It features characteristically notched rims with a detachable or fixed collar. It may also have a series of outward-bent or vertical scallops, allowing the suspension of wine cups by their feet. The bowl is then immersed in iced water to cool it.
The name Monteith is named after a fashionable gentleman whose name was Monteith or Monteigh. He was known for his love for a scalloped coat. He may not have played a direct role in producing the bowl, but his popularity as a singer and unconventional cloak earned him the honors. A Monteith punch bowl can be used to hold tall glasses, punch ladles, and lemon strainers.
History of the Monteith Punch Bowl
(Above photo - Pair Silver Plate Monteith Punch Bowls - Champagne Wine Coolers )
The origin of the silver plate Monteith bowl is thought to be sometime in 1680. Its original use was to keep wine glasses fresh. The bowl would be filled up with ice water to keep the temperature as low as possible. It was a constant feature in high society events, including dinners and buffets. With the addition of the detachable collar, the Monteith bowl gained other uses. The base would be used to cool glasses while the detachable rim would come in handy for serving wine.
Originating from Hindu ‘panch’ for ‘five’, the word ‘punch’ was initially composed of five key ingredients – lemon, spices, spirit, sugar, tea, and water. However, others have said that the word ‘punch’ might have originated from an old English word ‘puncheon’ – a 72-gallon cask. When cut, the puncheon could quickly become a punch bowl.
Around 1650, people drank the first punch in England. In years that followed, the punch bowl grew in popularity because of its role in serving punch. Because of the popularity of the drink, several punch houses sprang up around 1690. In specialized establishments, people drank punch, whether cold or hot. By the mid-1700s, the punch had permeated the English so much, leading to many people becoming outright drunkards. The government was forced to ban all forms of spirit drinking.
(Above photo - Antique Queen Anne Style Silver Monteith Bowl )
Traditionally, the Monteith punch bowl was made from silver. With time, people adopted materials like brass, copper, glass, pewter, porcelain, and pottery. Their popularity lasted between 1680 and 1725. After that, the bowls were only made in response to special orders or for specific events.
How Did Design For The Monteith Bowl Evolve?
When it first came up, Monteith bowls features Chinese ornamentation. They featured a fixed rim and chinoiserie chasing. Many illustrated Chinese civilizations. Later on, Monteith bowls featured Lobel panels with spiral grooves. This style is thought to have been copied from the Van Vianven family, which was using it by that time to make Dutch silver.
(Above photo - Pair Silver plate punch bowls with stags )
At the beginning of the 18th century, the bowls featured oval-shaped Lobel panels. Soon, the bowls were totally fluted. The new bowls featured central cartouches with ornamentation of coats of arms. Another new feature was the detachable collar. The silver pieces were elaborately decorated, moving away from purely utilitarian vessels.
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