By S. B. MacDonald
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Extra info for Absinthe Antiques: A Collection from la Belle Epoque
It is doubtful that this fine piece saw use in a bustling bistrot. More likely, it was either used in service at a fine restaurant or private home. The half-inch long patent mark is revealed in this close-up. Bté SGDG is short for Breveté Sans Garantie Du Gouvernement. It is most unusual to see this patent mark on a glass. A Cordon glass is a perfect example of form following function in design; a band (cordon) encircles the outside of the glass, marking the dose. Cordon glasses are used specifically with absinthe.
Feel free to strike your match on this enameled pyrogène advertising Absinthe Dutruc. Le Grand-Lemps (Isère) is written in gold, as are the outlines for the white letters. Branded porcelain match strikers were common in bistrots, and a convenient way for customers to light their pipes, cigars and cigarettes. The matchbox and matches are also antique, however they no longer ignite. The majority of pyrogènes for sale today either are replicas or fakes, especially those seen on-line at popular auction sites.
Pitchers, usually made of stoneware, often featured a small hole in the spout for pouring a controlled stream of water. Such pitchers were made exclusively for absinthe preparation, are quite rare, and are highly prized. This rare carafe is etched with the coat of arms of the absinthe distillery Ph. Richard Fils. Part of the coat of arms has worn away from use. The majority of surviving etched carafes are either from the post-absinthe era, or genuine antique carafes with faked etching. A special carafe designed for use with absinthe waits to be gently tipped above your glass.