A Fine Regency Cut Glass & Silver Plate Decanter c.1810

Origin: English
Period: Regency
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1800-20
Base Diameter: 3.25 inches
Height: 10.5 inches

The beautifully proportioned Regency cut crystal port or sherry decanter having a slender neck above an egg-shaped body with a field of star cut diamonds and the original stopper, the base having an unusual integral Sheffield silver plated foot and surviving from the first quarter of the nineteenth century.

The condition is very good. There are only three issues to note, one is a 2cm chip to the rim, one is a small tarnish chip mark to the body, and the other is tarnish and wear to the silver plate base. The whole has a good clean and sparkling appearance and is entirely original. The silver plate integral base is not typical and thus it is probably a repair to a broken base. As such it makes it rather unique and lovely that someone has cherished it enough to commission a good repair, definitely in the nineteenth century, and one which has probably improved it. In the late Victorian period this was an extremely popular shape, which was an imitation of ancient Greek pottery. Both the vessel and stopper are etch marked with the number ‘9’ confirming that they belong to each other for the outset.

The port decanter, which played such a central part in this clockwise after-dinner ritual, was essentially the same as that used for sherry, Madeira wine or other popular fortified wines. It has its origins in the bulbous, long necked decanter bottle used in the 17th century for serving wine from cask at the table. Since this method also ensured that bottled wine could be served free of sediment, the decanter, as it became to be known by the early 18th century, rapidly became a permanent piece of tableware.

The Regency period saw the introduction of steam powered glass cutting. Previously glass-cutters had relied on treadle powered glass cutting, where cutting deep was time consuming. New cutting techniques came into fashion during the Regency period such as pillar and step cutting. Both techniques were labour intensive and went out of fashion, although step cutting later appears in reproduction decanters in the early 20th Century.

A decanter with enough about it to lift it above all the other examples you see.