Dean’s Corner – The President’s House Crystal by Morgantown
In 1961, the Morgantown Glass company (of West Virginia) gained national recognition when first lady Jackie Kennedy chose a simple Morgantown glassware pattern as the official crystal service for the White House. After receiving this recognition, Morgantown marketed this pattern as The President’s House stemware.
Dean’s Corner – Butter Dishes and Butter: A History
Butter was first produced more than 4,000 years ago, when it was most likely made using goat or sheep milk. Consequently, butter dishes have long been produced in crystal, silver, and china. Read on to learn more about the history of both butter production and butter serving dishes!
Dean’s Corner – Coin Silver vs. Sterling Silver
When exploring older American silverware, the terms "coin" silver and "sterling" silver can be confusing to silver novices. Sterling silver normally contains more pure silver than coin silver, although the general difference between coin and sterling silver is fairly small. Read on to learn more!
Dean’s Corner – Comports & Compotes
Most tableware glossaries define “compote” as a large, covered glass bowl on a stem, which can be used as a serving piece. These items were commonly found on tables from the mid-1800s until well into the 20th century. However, at a conference several years ago, we learned that all compotes are actually comports! Read on to learn more.
Dean's Corner – Strawberry Forks
During the age of elegant dining, very specialized objects were created for use and service on fine dining tables. Special pieces were crafted for almost anything one could imagine eating – there were spoons for jam, spoons for macaroni, forks for sardines, and even forks for strawberries. Follow the link above to learn more!
Dean’s Corner – Knives on the Dining Table
"Knives were the first pieces of silverware," writes Richard Osterberg in Sterling Silver Flatware. Long before we had forks or spoons – much less individualized forms of all three – there were knives. Over the centuries, a remarkable diversity of knives has evolved. Read on to learn more!
Dean’s Corner – Float Bowls
Popular in America between the late 1930s and late 1950s, the float bowl was, and is, a truly elegant table piece. Today these evocative floating garden dishes remind us of a forgotten elegance. Like a miniature reflecting pool, they capture images and stir our imagination. Read on to learn more!
Dean's Corner – Mint Juleps
Historians speculate that the mint julep as we know it today was born in the early 1700s somewhere on the east coast of the United States. Traditionally, a mint julep is made of four, and only four, ingredients: mint, sugar, bourbon, and water. Read on to learn more about the history of this interesting drink!
Dean’s Corner – Finger Bowls
Finger bowls, once elegant components of dinner parties and high-end restaurants, were the subject of jokes and social-class-based humor in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. Today the finger bowl is all but forgotten. Read on to learn more about the history behind these unique tableware pieces!
Dean’s Corner – Wedding Bowls
Spring is here and the wedding season is not far off. And, as we turn our thoughts to weddings, we explore potential gift ideas as well. In the world of crystal, glass, and china giftware, “wedding bowl” is a term has been tossed about for decades. Read on to learn more about the origin and history of these interesting pieces!
Dean's Corner – Toby Jugs
Modeled in the form of a heavy-set, jovial person, or person of repute, Toby mugs and Toby jugs have existed since the 1760s. The first Tobies were made in the form of a stout man dressed in the attire of the period, puffing on a pipe, and holding a mug of ale. Read on to learn more about the history of these interesting pieces!
Dean's Corner – Tom and Jerry Sets
There are, in thousands of homes across the America, large bowls emblazoned with “Tom and Jerry,” accompanied by matching mug-like cups. Today, these sets, similar to punch sets, are finding their way onto the secondary market. Read on to learn more about these sets that are perhaps due for a revival in popularity.
Dean's Corner – Wine Hock History
It is commonly known that different wines are savored best in glasses designed specifically for each wine’s special characteristics. This informative essay examines a very interesting example: the hock wine glass. Read on to learn why we call this distinctive form a “hock” wine!
Dean’s Corner – Hot Chocolate History (and Recipes!)
One of the enduring symbols of surviving cold weather is a mug of hot, steamy, rich chocolate. It is a marvelous icon for happiness, warmth, and good cheer, a subtle potion of aroma, taste, and memories. Follow the link to learn more about the history and origins of this hot cocoa drink!
Dean's Corner – Here We Come A-wassailing!
Wassail has become a tradition of the entire holiday period yet few of us realize the roots, meaning or variations of the celebration. Wassail is a tradition to celebrate and promote health, wealth, and good fortune around the holidays – read on to learn more about the fascinating history of this holiday custom!