This beautiful silver-mounted glass vodka drinking set was crafted in the late 19th Century for the Russian market. The set consists of twelve small glasses, and two larger jugs. These are contained within a velvet-lined wooden case, which bears a plaque reading, ‘The Lord Acton K.C.V.O / From the Staff of the / British Legation / Helsingfors / 1920’. This indicates that the set was, at one point, owned by Lord Acton, the UK Ambassador to Finland in the early 20th Century.
The glasses are identically designed, with bulbous green-coloured glass bowls, which are enamelled with swirling turquoise, blue and yellow ornament. These designs imitate curling foliage, perhaps referencing the wheat, rye, and sometimes grape vines, that vodka is made from. The glass bodies stand on slender, silver-gilt stems, and circular bases, which are encircled by silver bands, embossed with leaf patterns.
Like the glasses, the two vodka jugs have silver and silver-gilt stems, which support bulbous, coloured and enamelled glass bodies. These are mounted with silver-gilt necks, which are decorated with embossed silver bands, depicting putti, lions and classical, bearded masks, surrounded by scrolling foliate. The jugs have been mounted with leafy, looping handles, and are topped by silver-gilt hinged lids. These lids are cast as clam shells, with pearl finials.
Since vodka is a colourless drink, it will not complicate the colour of the glass or enamel ornament, and will thus enhance the beauty of the glasses and jugs. This set will make a wonderful addition to a collection of silver- or glassware.
Case – Height 15cm, width 48cm, depth 33cm
Jugs – Height 21cm, width 13cm, depth 11cm
Glasses – Height 6.5cm, diameter 4.5cm