The Charleston Silver Lady
This beautiful bowl is a feast for the eyes. Hand blown, circa 1860, lobed glass bowl was crafted in one of the most desired colors of the time. It was a favorite of Josephine, Napoleon’s 1st wife who caused a stir all over Europe with her love of and use of vivid color. I mentioned another of her favorite colors known as Pompadour Pink, a favorite of Madame’ Pompadour.
This bowl’s turquoise closely resembles a form of opaque glass made for Josephine. French opaline glass is totally opaque and reserved for use in small pieces such as ring boxes, tea caddies or vesta boxes. Its distinct color is a near match for the color in this bowl. Pieces of this color are highly prized as we still love turquoise today.
This bowl features beautiful, clear, blown glass handles fashioned to look like thorned branches. It rests of 4 thick, clear, blown glass legs that hold it steady.
Its oval form is hand painted with multiple coats of enamel. Its floral pattern shows great attention to realism and detail. In the Victorian language of flowers, carnations signify love, admiration and affection.
A close look reveals 2 places for a ladle to rest. This bowl is fragile and not as large as a punch bowl today.
Its classification as a ‘ladies punch bowl’ is due to its size and the sentimental meaning of the flowers to ladies.
My best Charleston punch recipe is older than anyone in my family. My great-aunt made this for her close friends.
I found the recipe about 10 years ago in one of her guest books. It was touching to read the names listed in these books and to remember when Charleston was filled with familiar faces. This punch’s smell and taste return me to that time.
Charleston Holiday Punch
This is exactly as she hand wrote it. This makes about a gallon give or take how much you drink while you are making it!
2 cups of white grape juice
1 cup of red grape juice
1 cup of grapefruit juice
1 large can crushed pineapple in juice
1 large jar of stemless red cherries
1 cup of white sugar
2 large jars of mandarin oranges
Use just the juice. Save the orange sections for use listed below.
Mix together and chill overnight. Make sure the sugar dissolves completely.
Using a gallon container, fill with the above adding water to make a full gallon.
Chill again serving when cold.
To add flavor and further chill the punch, she would make ‘Mandarin Ice’.
Place a layer of mandarin sections on wax paper on a plate in the freezer, freeze hard and add to punch just before serving.
Add alcohol if you like. White or clear port is ideal. I hope you enjoy this punch. and allow it to take you back in time.