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History of the Wine Ewer

A wine ewer is a large jug that has a deep, tall bowl on a stemmed base, and has a single vertical scrolling handle.

The bowl of the wine ewer is sometimes of ovoid shape with a narrow neck, but is typically cylindrical, helmet-shaped, or baluster-shaped.

It is claimed that the silver wine ewer was first introduced in the late 17th Century.

History of silver wine ewer
silver wine ewer
silver wine ewer history

They were historically used for washing fingers with rose water at the dinner table. A server would hold a basin in front of each dinner guest, while another would use the ewer to pour rose water over the hands of the dinner guest. This was all part of the dining etiquette at this time.

In the Georgian era they became water jugs, before gradually taking on a more elaborate purpose – to serve wine.

The Victorian versions of the ewer which were crafted for serving wine had small mouths, narrow necks, with a single side scroll handle. Some of them even have lids.

Georgian and Victorian wine ewers, to this day, are very popular collector’s pieces.

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