Monticello Hand-Blown Glass Decanter

Monticello Hand-Blown Glass Decanter

Item #: 121008
Availability: Usually ships in 2-3 business days
Gift Wrap:? 
This elegant decanter, with its engraved grapevine pattern, is adapted from one excavated at Monticello in 1981. The original, engraved with the word “Madeira,” is of a type popular in the late 1760s and 1770s and suggests Jefferson’s fondness at the time for the fortified wine from the island of Madeira. Our adaptation is hand-blown glass, etched and engraved in the same manner as the original, so slight variations may be expected. The center medallion has been left blank. 12"h, holds 32 oz. Hand wash.

Monticello Decanter

This hand blown glass decanter is an adaptation of a decanter uncovered during archeological excavations at Monticello in 1981. It was found in a food storage well dug at Jefferson’s direction in 1771. The dry well was intended as a cool, dry storage place but this location was filled in when Jefferson redesigned his dependency structures over the next few years. A number of discarded items from the earliest years of Jefferson’s Monticello were found in the backfill. The original decanter, dating from the 1760s, was ornamented with a wheel-engraved grapevine motif and cartouche, and had the letters “Madeira” engraved on one side.

Madeira was an important wine in the early history of the United States. In the thirteen colonies no grapes were grown that were capable of producing good quality wine, so colonists relied on imports. Madeira was a Portuguese fortified wine with a very robust flavor and was an early favorite of Thomas Jefferson; it was used to toast the Declaration of Independence.

During his residence in Europe, Jefferson developed a taste for the fine light wines of France and Italy, and thereafter found Madeira “entirely too powerful.” He continued, however, to serve it to guests at Monticello and the President’s House in Washington as an after-dinner wine.

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Gift Wrap Information
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We will wrap your gift in white gift paper, trimmed with red Jefferson signature ribbon and a bow, and include a hand written gift message. The charge is $6.95 per item.

Each item will be wrapped and charged individually. You cannot elect to have multiple quantities wrapped together when ordering through our website. If you wish to do so, please call us at 1-800-243-1743 to place your order.

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