No Sour Grapes over this stunning item … no it’s not an ashtry!
A beautiful 19th Century French Silver wine tasting cup (Tastevin)
The body of the cup is stamped with the head of Minerve indicating silver fineness 950/1000. The handle is stamped with AC which is for Etienne-Auguste Courtois who was producing silver items between 1834-1847
Overall very good condition
Measuring 3cm high x 7.5cm rim diameter. (not including the handle)
Some History on the Tastevin:
The shape of the tastevin is studied in order to make the visual analysis of the wine effective. A game of levels and reliefs have a very specific function that allows the sommelier to read the color of the wine. In the center there is a large bubble whose cusp marks the quantity of wine that must never exceed a certain level.
Small bubbles are arranged in a crown that have the purpose of promoting oxygenation of the wine. We also find concave pearls that are used for the visual analysis of red wines. While on the other side, the ribs serve to highlight the nuances of white wines. Finally, the use of silver allows good oxygenation of wines, especially whites as it favors the rapid dissolving in sulfur dioxide.
For the analysis of the white the tastevin was held with the left hand and the wine was poured with the right hand. For the red, however, the tastevin was held with the right hand and the wine was poured with the left.