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Antique English Amethyst Finger Bowl with Underplate

  • England, circa 1840
  • Dimensions: Height - 4 inches, Diameter of Bowl - 5 1/2 inches, Diameter of Plate - 7 1/2 inches

From Ancient Roman times until the introduction of the fork, diners used a water-filled bowl to wash their hands. It was brought to the table prior to when the dessert course – usually fruit – was served. The bowl was often presented on a service plate with a paper doily placed between the bowl and the plate. Over the centuries, finger bowls always had great popularity but they went out of fashion after World War 1.

Our Antique Amethyst (Purple) Glass Finger Bowl with Underplate has a flared lip and is in pristine condition. The color amethyst is quite deep as well as vibrant. As the color amethyst was not used frequently in colored glassware in the 19th century, we are quite pleased to have acquired this piece.

Most people do not use finger bowls as they did in the past although in some cultures, they still do. However, a finger bowl still has many uses. Placed on a dinner table with a condiment or sauce in it, is definitely a 21st century way of using a finger bowl. Also, they can be used before dinner for nuts or other pick up foods as well as for after dinner, mints. Another use can be placing a small lovely arrangement of flowers in them. This would look lovely anywhere it is placed.

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