What are Monteith Bowls? - Antique Solid Silver | Artisan Antiques

A "Monteith" bowl is a form of a vessle or basson that was originally introduced in the 17th Century in order to cool glasses in a Verriere fashion.

A solid silver Monteith Bowl
A glass hanging in a solid silver monteith bowl 




A Monteith bowl would feature a band of notches on the brim which allowed for the base of a wine glass to be 'hooked' onto it and the body to rest in the bowl containing ice water. 

This design was invented in order to prevent the glasses from rolling and clashing into each other.
A silver monteith bowl holding a wine glass





The name "Monteith" was derived from a Scottish gentleman named 'Monsieur Monteigh' who at the time wore a cloak which had a "u u u u" shaped design at the bottom.

As such, the bowl featuring a similar notched "u" shaped brim was refered to as a monteith from then on and had many variations to the spellings/pronouciations such as a "Monteth", "Menteth",  "Mounteth" and even as far as a "Moonteeth".



wine glass and silver bowl

Before such innovations to these bowls were made, there are a few recorded cases in which a bowl without the monteith notch was used to cool glasses. Such example is best illustrated in a still life paining by Jakob Bogdani, a Hungarian artist who for most of his life lived in London.

The rising popularity of such bowls during the 18th Century to be used as glass coolers were due to the fact that heavily spiced food was consumed in England at the time. As such, a cooling drink was necessary to combat the spicyness of such meals and the drinks included wine or at the time, a new trendy 'punch' which would require a cooled glass to be prepared for maximum effect and experience. 


a silver monteith bowl with fruits insideLater on, Monteiths would also feature a detachable rim/bezel in order to remove the notched shape. This was supposedly done in order to provide a more versatile bowl which allowed for punch itself to be held within the vessel as a punch bowl or alternatively for other purposes such as for fruits.

At Artisan Antiques we have the delight to offer many types of bowls including Monteiths: Whilst the original intended use may be outdated today, we always suggest that one gets creative with their usage and placement of such silverware without limitations. Such bowls can be excellent for holding fruits, flowers or any content of you choice.


If such articles are of your interest, please do check our website for bowls and/or contact us at info@artisanantiques.net as we may have others that are yet to be listed/sourced.

antique silverware on black table