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Monteith
Date Made/Found: 1810-1820
Material and Medium: Old Sheffield Plate
Dimensions: Overall: 180 x 265 x 330mm (7 1/16 x 10 7/16 x 13in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: L1943.588
This is a monteith made in France by Levrat, between 1810 and 1820. A monteith is a wine glass cooler made normally of silver or glass. It has a notched rim which can hold the feet of wine glasses whilst their bowls are suspended in iced water. By the 1700s wine was usually chilled before consumption and this device ensured that glasses were suitably cool. Later examples had a removable rim to allow for use as a punch bowl.

The term appears to originate from the style of the scalloped rim. In 1683 they were described as follows by the antiquarian Anthony Wood: ‘This year came up a vessel or bason notched at the brims to let drinking glasses hang there by the foot, so that the body or drinking parte might hang in the water to coole them. Such a bason was called a ` Monteigh ' from a fantastical Scot called 'Monsieur Monteigh,' who at that time or a little before, wore the bottome of his cloake or coate so notched.’

Along with Balaine, Durand and Gandais, Levrat was the most prominent of the French Plate manufacturers. French fused plate was similar to Sheffield Plate but usually slightly less refined in technique. Levrat is known for the best workmanship and some of his articles are finished well with silver mounts and silver edges. This piece is graded ‘10M’ which means it is made using one part of silver to nine parts of copper, and is thus good quality.

This object is part of the Bradbury Collection.

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