Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Austrian Schnapps Decanter with Matching Glasses

elsa araya passed along this beautiful story to me, just look at that gorgeous set! thanks elsa!

I caught them out of the corner of my eye and immediately felt my breathing pause as I tried to focus in on them. They were sitting there in the center of the dining table surrounded by, although I did not know it at the time, other treasures that also needed new homes. We were visiting a house for sale. We walked through the entire house for what felt like hours because I could not stop thinking about them. I could not wait for the right moment to ask my questions: what are they? where are they from? who's are they? Imagine my delight when I found out everything in the house was also for sale.

The daughter of the man that owned the house, Frau Nachdigal (Nightingale in English), said he died the winter before last without moving a single thing in the house after his wife died 7 years earlier. She said everything in the house had to go and much to the real estate agent's dismay, the visit quickly turned into a private estate sale. I brought home treasures including these Austrian crystal schnapps glasses with a matching decanter set that made my heart skip a beat for a fraction of what they actually cost!

They belonged to Frau Nachdigal's mother who was a professional seamstress and from what I gathered walking around her home, a very glamorous lady. All of her belongings were stored and preserved very well. One can only see the years in the changing styles as she was a woman of her time, a dedicated follower of fashion. Her daughter told me that she loved everything Italian: art, lace, furniture, shoes, bags. She spent most of her vacations in Italy. She was also the kind of woman that bought two, three, or four of everything she fancied in all the colors that she loved: scarves, belts, gloves, handkerchiefs, purses, even umbrellas. Before she fell in love with Italy, she frequented and was in love with Austria. That is when she acquired this charming Austrian schnapps glasses set.

Although tradition in Germany, and German-speaking Switzerland, schnapps originates from Austria. True schnapps has no sugar or flavoring added and is distilled from primarily mirabelle plums,

"In Austria, sekt or champagne is drunk on formal occasions, while schnapps is reserved for more intimate, convivial gatherings - the type of drink served defining both the nature of the event and the social relationship between the drinkers. The choice of drink also dictates behavior, to the extent that the appearance of a bottle of schnapps can prompt a switch from the ‘polite’ form of address, Sie (You), to the highly intimate (and casual) du " quoted from Sekt Versus Schnapps in an Austrian Village by M.A. Thornton (1987).


Anonymous said...

I am happy to among you. Beautiful picture.

Anonymous said...

How much did you pay for the decanter and glasses?