Monteith, noun


A monteith is a large punch bowl, usually made of silver, featuring a shallow, notched rim from which glasses were suspended in order to cool over iced water. It can also be used to mean a bonnet glass, a small stemless glass of the 18th century, having a bowl with a curved profile upon a broad foot. Monteith is an old word, one that was first recorded circa 1675-1685. The monteith pictured here was lot #185 in Doyle New York’s Oct. 4th sale in Manhattan. It was made around 1845 by the American silversmith George W. Stewart in Lexington, Kentucky.

Ten inches in diameter and weighing 39 ounces, the piece was chased with flowers, thistles and foliage in figural scenes, set on a pedestal foot, with removable scalloped crown. Bidders blew past the pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$6,000 to a final price of $28,125 (including the buyer’s premium). George W. Stewart opened his business in Lexington in 1843 after training in New York. By 1852 he had sold the shop to his apprentice, Thomas Calvert. Stewart went on to serve with the 53rd Kentucky Volunteer Mounted Infantry for the Union during the Civil War.