Posts Tagged ‘Glasses and Decanters’

Carafes and glasses in Cruikshank’s The Mulberry-Tree, 1808.

September 5, 2019 Leave a comment

Cruikshank. The Mulberry-Tree. 1808. [1]

The “vine-juice” mentioned in The Mulberry-Tree below, is being enjoyed in Cruikshank’s illustration by three gentlemen sitting at a table underneath a mulberry tree.  The wine is found both in the full glass each man holds and in the two carafes resting on the table.  The carafes are triple-ringed, broad shouldered types with very narrow lips.  I would venture they date within a decade or so of the engraving.  Carafes do not use stoppers, as such the inside of the neck is not ground for a tight fit.  Unlike a decanter, they would have been filled in the cellar then put on the table for immediate use.

Cruikshank. The Mulberry-Tree. 1808. [1]


The sweet brier grows in the merry green wood,
Where the musk-rose diffuses his perfume so free,
But the blight often seizes both blossom and bud,
While the mildew flies over the mulberry tree.

In the nursery rear’d like the young tender vine,
Mankind of all orders, and ev’ry degree,
First crawl on the ground, then spring up like the pine,
And some branch and bear fruit, like the mulberry- tree.

To the fair tree of knowledge some twine like a twig,
While some sappy sprouts with their fruits disagree;
For which we from birch now and then pluck a twig,
Which is not quite so sweet as the mulberry tree.

The vast tree of life we all eagerly climb,
And impatiently pant at its high top to be,
Tho’ nine out of ten are lopp’d off in their prime,
And they drop like dead leaves from the mulberry- tree.

Some live by the leaf, and some by the bough,
As the song or the dance, their vocation may be,
And some live and thrive, tho’ we know no more how,
Than the dew that flies over the mulberry tree.

But like weeping willows we hang down the head,
When poor wither’d elders we’re destin’d to be,
And we’re minded no more than mere logs when we’re dead,
Or the dew that flies over the mulberry tree.

Yet like lignum-vitae we hearts of oak wear,
Or the cedar that keeps from the canker-worm free,
While the vine juice, we drain to dissolve ev’ry care,
Like the dew that flies over the mulberry tree.

[1] Cruikshank. The Mulberry-Tree.  London, 1808.  Museum number: 1869,1009.30. Prints and Drawings, The British Museum.  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). URL:

Wine glasses and pitchers in the Friendship Album of Moyses Walens

Album Amicorum of Moyses Walens, of Cologne. The British Library. [1]

This fantastic dining scene caught my attention when The British Library Tweeted it earlier this summer.  It appears in the friendship album of Moyses Walens, of Cologne, and is from the same period as the Album Amicorum of Gervasius Fabricius, of Saltzburg.  This particular scene includes two additional details not seen in the Fabricius album: the storage and serving of the wine.  In the foreground bottom, are two large pitchers of wine cooling in a fountain of running water. In the left background, a standing man, his attention focused, is pouring white wine from a pitcher held by his outstretched arm into the wine glass of a gentleman in gold, seated at the table.  The glass is clear, large, and quite substantial, perhaps a variant of the tazza, with at least two large knops on the stem.  At the same table, the women with the pink striped dress and black hat with gold trim, holds a more delicate, clear glass containing white wine.

Detail from Album Amicorum of Moyses Walens, of Cologne. The British Library. [1]

[1]  Album Amicorum of Moyses Walens, of Cologne. 1605–15. Shelfmark:  Add MS 18991. The British Library. URL:

Wine glasses in the Friendship Album of Gervasius Fabricius

Album Amicorum of Gervasius Fabricius, of Saltzburg. The British Library. [1]

When German and Dutch speaking students took tours through Europe during the mid-16th through mid-17th centuries, they kept friendship albums.  In these albums they would collect paintings and drawings of what they saw and experienced.  The picture featured in this post shows a group of men and women dining outside at a seaside estate.  There are three different styles of glasses.  Three men at the table are holding tall, clear flutes, two with white wine and one with red.  The man in the center foreground appears to offer a metal or painted gold-colored coupe of red wine to a seated lady.  Finally, the seated man in the background at the back end of the table, holds more of a goblet-shaped gold-colored vessel.  One detail I do not see is any serving vessel for the wine.

Detail from Album Amicorum of Gervasius Fabricius, of Saltzburg. The British Library. [1]

[1] Album Amicorum of Gervasius Fabricius, of Saltzburg. 1595-1637. Shelfmark: Add MS 17025. The British Library. URL: