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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

90: Sugar basket

Sugar basket with dog and birds, with liner, on 3 bracket feet Perfect for cooking, refined granulated sugar was also ideal for use at the table as a sweetener, either for sprinkling onto food or for dissolving into fashionable hot beverages, like tea, coffee, and chocolate, otherwise considered too bitter to drink. Kept in airtight ceramic storage jars in the kitchen, it was presented in more elegant containers and dispensers for the dining- and tea-table. Made in all shapes, sizes, and materials, sugar bowls, basins, and baskets normally came with a silver spoon for dispensing, while sugar casters, sifters, and shakers were designed for ‘dredging’ sugar directly onto food. These sugar containers were usually decorated with exotic motifs to underline the far-away provenance of their contents.

Francis II Spilsbury, London, 1768 –9

basket: silver liner: glass

Louis C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960 (M.46 & A-1961)

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