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Whether a singular chalice or a set of sophisticated tumblers, crystal and glass cups
are an elegant addition to a glassware collection. Descending from the most rudimentary
necessity – drinking – the antique glass cup celebrates the remarkable range of
glassmaking genius with a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and styles.
Glass drinking vessels have been a staple of society since the ancient world when the
cultures of the ancient Mediterranean capitalized on their early experiments with glass to
create their own cup form. It was not until the rise in the popularity of glassmaking closer
to the 16th century that elaborate lidded cups and chalices as well as decorated glass cup
sets came into couture.
From the tables of royalty to the dining rooms of modern American households,
crystal and glass cups are a perennial favorite both for their bespoke beauty and brilliant
sparkle. Today, antique and crystal glass cups come in a variety of price points, but it is
their vast history that is worth an intangible fortune.
One of the oldest surviving glass drinking vessels is the ancient Roman
rhyton, which often took the form of a drinking horn. Variations on these glass drinking
horns were popular across the ancient Mediterranean
A record-setting rock crystal cup sold at auction for $186,700 in 2003. Created in
19th century Vienna, the cup has a lid depicting two swans with accents of
Pairing elegance with the everyday, brewery Stella Artois partnered with fine
glassmaker Swarovski in 2003 to create a limited edition Stella Artois crystal chalice.
Handcrafted in Turkey and then bedecked with Swarovski stones in Austria, each chalice
retailed for $500