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Sweetmeat Stand

1760-1765
Origin: England
OH: 17 1/8"; Diam. at base: 7 1/4"; Diam. with arms: 13 1/2"
Colorless lead glass; gilded base metal (ormolu)
Gift of Mr. John V. Rowan, Jr. in memory of Winifred Draco Shrubsole
Acc. No. 2001-853
Glass sweetmeat stand composed of pole, top glass, canopy, eight arms, four dishes, and four baskets.
Pole: Domed circular foot cut with diamonds and panels supports a solid, tapered shaft with angular knop at lower third of shaft, the whole with facet-cut hollow diamonds. Gilt-metal collar with eight rings to hold glass arms at middle of shaft; rings are notched with numbers to correspond to numbered arms. Gilt metal threaded fastener at top of shaft for removable top glass.
Top glass: Hemispherical bowl with scalloped and pointed rim and short, solid shaft affixed to gilt metal threaded fastener. Bowl cut with compound lozenges and diamonds.
Canopy: Domed canopy with scalloped edge, cut with diamonds, and hung with seven hollow-cut, long, spear-shaped drops.
Arms numbered 1, 3, 5, and 7: Double-curved arm deeply cut with faceted ovals terminates at upper end with shallow, blown cup cut with diamonds and ovals. Bottom of each arm terminates in a gilt-metal ferrule with locating pin; ferrule is cut with notches to indicate appropriate locating number. Each arm hung with diamond-cut double pear drop.
Arms numbered 2, 4, 6, and 8: Double-curved arm with pointed upper end; each arm cut with faceted ovals. Bottom of each arm terminates in a gilt-metal ferrule with locating pin; ferrule is cut with notches to indicate appropriate locating number. Each arm hung with diamond-cut double pear drop.
Dishes for arms numbered 1, 3, 5, and 7: Removable dishes with flat circular bases and flaring sides with scalloped and pointed rims. Each dish cut with faceted ovals and swags.
Baskets for arms numbered 2, 4, 6, and 8: Removable hemispherical baskets with applied flat hexagonal feet and arched plain handles applied to plain rims with a raspberry prunt at each juncture. Each basket cut with compound diamonds and ovals.
Label:With its original dishes and hanging baskets, this sweetmeat stand is a remarkably complete example of the most elaborate type of dessert glassware. The top glass would have held an orange or other preserved fruit; the baskets and dishes would have been filled with nuts and sweetmeats (or candied fruits). The facets of the cut glass and the gilded metal mounts were designed to reflect the glow of candlelight, further enhancing the sparkling appearance of the whole. Although now quite rare survivals, glass sweetmeat stands once graced the dessert tables of many prominent Colonial American families. George Washington, John Randolph, and John Marshall, all of Virginia, are among the prominent colonists known to have owned such objects.
Provenance:Mr. John V. Rowan, Jr. recieved this sweetmeat stand as a gift from Winifred Draco Shrubsole, late wife of Eric N. Shrubsole.