Waterford (center), Ralph Lauren “Aston” (left), Thomas O’Brien “Cynthia Blue” (back left), Michael Aram “Woodgrain” for Waterford (right) and William Yeoward “Geneviere” (back right).
Manly? Yes, definitely.
Decanters have long been the domain of southern gentry and, well, not exactly the manliest men of the north. As for the ladies, these charismatic receptacles are usually passed over for a more delicate variety, like vases or figurines. Sadly, this has rendered these gorgeous items orphaned in a sea of housewares. Never mind all that, open your mind to a better drink. There are the swills you have with friends that are rundown, late at night, hit the reset button drinking (call this tapping your Hemingway). Then there are the drinks that start early, move slowly and reside on the palate for hours. This is a conversation. It starts somewhere before dinner, accompanies the meal and takes you straight into tomorrow (call this tapping your Tennessee Williams). Drinks like this make you feel like you accomplished something, whether taken alone or in good company. Decanters are the silent witnesses to this, clinking as you remove the lid in a barely audible applause of another round. They protect your investments, set a mood, enhance an experience and stay there long after the moment has passed, stoic reminders of that blissful vibe. Perfect for displaying your fine ambers, like cognac, bourbon and scotch, these decanters range from 6” to 16” and are made of quality, heavy, hand cut crystal (ranging $120-$375).
Baccarat is among the high holy of fine crystal tableware, but ladies and gentlemen, this is not your mother’s Baccarat. Stylish, modern, colorful, dramatic and elegant, these champagne flutes set a mood that is fun and sophisticated. Opulence is sleight of hand—too much and the effect is garish, overdone; too little, and a cheap, incomplete feeling is born. Shown here from the Mille Nuits collection (that’s “thousand nights,” $210 each) are midnight, olive and ruby (clear and other colors available). Set a dramatic scene with a set all in one hue, or mix two or more colors for a more festive ambiance. Available at London Jewelers (Manhasset).
Set a Scene
Holidays bring family and friends together, and the right setting completes the scene. Combining fine pieces with more modern ones creates an air of formality that does not take itself too seriously. Whatever your taste for tableware, a stunning centerpiece is key. One that is striking, artistic and (hopefully) has a story to tell. Nestled in Bellport village, Circa Something is a purveyor of objects that are as beautiful as they are unique, making choices like this circa 1890 American brilliant cut crystal centerpiece bowl on stand an instant addition to your family. Far from “another crystal bowl,” this is among a series of objects made for only a 20-year period because it’s hand-cut like a diamond and the makers found it too fragile and too labor intensive to continue. Among their fine art and estate jewelry, you’ll also find antiques like these sterling silver Gorham serving pieces and old American Lenox consommé bowls inset in sterling silver stands (set of 4) with matching service plates.