One of my very favorite bars, a tiny Brooklyn tiki bar called Shaka Shaka, serves some of its best drinks in vintage glass goblets that make each one feel more interesting than those at the much more expensive cocktail bars nearby. There’s something about these glowing, patterned glasses, in mismatched shapes and colors, that make an experience as simple as drinking some wine (or a very strong piña colada) feel much more personal.
I was recently taken by one such goblet, whose shape and general hands-on-hips attitude gave me the distinct impression it was judging me deeply. I love these sorts of beautiful-yet-silly pieces even more in an otherwise-plain dining room (say, mine) where they pop against the backdrop of Ikea plates and mechanics towels I use in place of napkins. Rather than stand out awkwardly, they make simple, budget-conscious place settings feel like the intentional backdrop for this, the main character, the goblet of your dreams.
I’m not the only one who’s embracing the opulence and over-the-top elegance of these sorts of pieces. Vintage (or vintage-esque) goblets are making a resurgence, with some glass-blowers and crystal-cutters taking inspiration from the old to create their own sparkling, new glasses. If, for instance, you’re in the market for some investment pieces (a term I use to describe things I can not afford and do not need, but want to buy anyways), this set of two hand-cut crystal stemmed glasses from Farfetch are selling for a modest $641, and look pretty sweet. These Serena Confalonieri glasses from Mociun are a slightly more, uh, reasonable $405 for two. And of the vintage (and still spectacularly expensive) variety, there are these particularly lovely hand-blown 1970s glass goblets from Rosemary Home.
I won’t be buying any of them because 1) I can’t rationalize spending almost $300 on a single glass, and 2) having such valuable glassware in my shared New York apartment doesn’t make a ton of sense. But an investment piece doesn’t have to be so expensive. For those of us who aren’t set up to spend $600 on cups right now, Etsy has a treasure trove of elegant patterned glass goblets in yellow, green, and whatever this color is, as well as options to build your own mismatched set. (You can thank me later for the rabbit hole you’re about to go down.)
As a person who’s always wished I had more just-because hobbies, I’m drawn to the idea of becoming the oh, he collects vintage goblets guy — there’s something quite special about getting one’s hands on a set of glasses that have been around for so long and were crafted with such care. But cabinet space doesn’t allow it so for now, I’ll have to settle for a set of six beautifully mismatched cups.