On the Fringes of the Prairie, 1800-1850
Objects Sweetmeat compote, 1830-1840
Sweetmeat compote, 1830-1840

Sweetmeats--fruits preserved in syrup or dried and candied--were often served from the sideboard or placed on the table on festive occasions, such as the evening tea party. When a complete meal was served, sweetmeats preceded the main courses. The table was set with open salt dishes for seasoning meats and vegetables. Salts like the one seen here were intended for communal use, and guests took generous pinches of salt with their fingers. About 1850, smaller, individual salts with tiny spoons became popular.

Sweetmeat compote, 1830-1840
Probably made in America
Free-blown stem, pressed-glass bowl

Salt dish, 1830-1845
Made in Boston or New York
Lacy Scroll pattern
Pressed glass

Compote: Gift of Dorothy B. McCumber Estate, Lewistown, IL (745694)
Salt dish: Gift of E. Taintor Brown, Springfield, IL (1992.12.53)

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