Word of the Week: Monteith

A Chinese Export porcelain blue and white monteith, circa 1690A monteith is a large center bowl (usually silver, occasionally porcelain, rarely glass) designed to be filled with ice and with a scalloped, shaped rim to allow a set of wine glasses to be suspended around the rim by the foot of the glass, so the bowl of the glass can be chilled. While extant silver monteiths can be dated to as early as 1666, the more “modern” version of the form, which is essentially a punch bowl with a removable rim, saw the height of its popularity from the 1680s to the 1720s. Obviously, the silver forms were often reworked as they lost popularity and the porcelain versions would of course have been quite vulnerable to damage, so as a result, the form is relatively rare.