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From champagne flutes to snifters, the heritage of crystal and glass stemware is as long as it is diverse.
Stemware is still essential today for the elegantly-set table, making antique and well-made contemporary
Stemware's roots can be traced to the origins of drinking alcohol, which dates back to some of our
earliest ancestors. The luxury of liquor meant that those who served it wished to showcase it at their table,
hence the demand for more elegant serving pieces. This demand, combined with the rise of glassmaking
refinements, resulted in a wide range of stemware settings coming to market by the end of the end of the
17th century and into the 18th.
Increasingly-elaborate cut glass and crystal designs were featured at the tables of some of Europe's
aristocratic gatherings, and soon, these traditions extended to American audiences as well. From Steuben's
cultured designs to the wonders of Waterford, exceptional examples of antique glass stemware continue to
come to market today.
A fantastic example of ancient stemware is the Lycurgus Cup, a 4th-century chalice made of
dichroic glass, meaning it changes colors depending on lighting. The source of this color-changing
characteristic is the presence of silver and gold particles within the glass mixture
The champagne flute is the modern relative of the coupe, the original glass vessel used for drinking
champagne developed in the 17th century that was in the shape of a shallow, stemmed saucer
A Lobmeyer stemware service broke records at a Christie's New York auction in 2015: featuring more
than 100 pieces, the set sold for $75,000
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