Antiques Column: The Georgians loved their desserts

Within the field of glass collecting, drinking glasses have always commanded the greatest interest from enthusiasts, but there is a whole sphere of glass production which is equally as exciting and readily available to the collector.

The Georgians loved their desserts and the taking of dessert was an important occasion in its own right.

The late 18th century was a time when the wealthiest members of society entertained with parties incorporating a large and varied amount of food, as well as generous amounts of wine and desserts.

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Desserts could be taken with the meal or served away from the table in a kind of buffet form which could be directly after the dinner or later in the evening.

The kind of treats on offer included candied fruit, marshmallows, crystallised citrus peels and almonds.

These desserts would be served in glasses on tall stems known as suckets that resemble drinking glasses.

They would also be served on footed and stemmed plates and saucers which were known as tazzas and comports.

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Shorter thicker glasses with practically no stem were also used for holding jelly and ice creams.

Custard cups, another variant on the jelly glass, were used for syllabub ( a creamy alcoholic sweetmeat), egg custard and egg trifles.

Sometimes all of these vessels would be presented on large stemmed salvers placed in the form of a pyramid.

These wonderful Georgian occasions and marvellous Georgian sweetmeats have provided the modern collector with an enormous wealth of collecting opportunity.