A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

QUAICH

Quaich (cuaich in Gaelic) meaning "cup", are a uniquely Scottish invention. Having no apparent connection to any other European drinking vessel they have maintained their distinctive shape as a wide and shallow cup for more than four hundred years. There are some scholars who believe the shape evolved from the use of scallop shells.
Those of small size were for individual use, larger ones were to be passed around on ceremonial occasions in the same way as a "loving cup" or a "mether cup".



silver quaich

It has two (rarely three or four) flat horizontal handles (named "lugs" in Scotland) extending level from the rim of the bowl.
Early examples were made of wood, bone or horn (sometimes with silver mounts), while later examples were made entirely of silver.
The centre of the bowl was usually decorated with a silver coin or an engraved disc or 'print', with coat-of-arms, initials, motto or familiar phrase such as a toast.
The disc served the function of masking and sealing the centre of the bowl where the points of the staves met.
The width of ancient examples ranges from 9.5 to 25 cm while modern examples are made in many sizes.

silver quaich


silver quaich

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