Designer Kacper Hamilton has created a port decanter set that encourages users to constantly share the drink around.
Hamilton's glassware is named after the British tale of the Bishop of Norwich, about a nineteenth-century gentleman who was notorious for forgetting to pass the port.
To ensure the drink is shared by users of this set, the bottoms of the decanter and glasses are pointed so they can't be put down. This means they will be constantly sipped and drained, so the port is always passed from person to person.
The vessels only stand when returned to their individual brass bases. The bases hold six glasses and a decanter with a matching brass stopper, which are displayed in a row on a wooden tray.
The project was exhibited at the Mint shop during London Design Festival 2013. Kacper Hamilton has also created a set of seven wine glasses inspired by the seven deadly sins.
Here is more information from the designer:
Influenced by and named after the classic tale of the 'Bishop of Norwich', a nineteenth-century gentleman notorious for forgetting to pass the port. This set brings about the return of humble rituals from the past through a drink that has become quintessentially British.
With respect to the tradition, the 'Bishop of Norwich' has been specifically designed to encourage the user to drink their port and pass the decanter. Due to their elaborate design the port glasses and decanter cannot be put down on the table unless placed within their individual brass bases, hence the port is continuously passed, shared and quaffed.
An elongated wooden tray brings all the parts together, making the complete creation a grand central piece. The ebony finish creates a striking contrast with the brushed sheen of the brass and a distinctive sculptural form appears when all the elements are displayed alongside one another.
Each solid brass base is engraved with the KH Studio monogram. The large decanter base displays the edition number (Limited Edition of 12), date of production, and 'Made in England'.
When Port wine is passed around at British meals, one tradition dictates that a diner passes the decanter to the left immediately after pouring a glass for his or her neighbour on the right; the decanter should not stop its clockwise progress around the table until it is finished. If someone is seen to have failed to follow tradition, the breach is brought to their attention by asking ‘Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?’; those aware of the tradition treat the question as a reminder, while those who do not are told ‘He is a terribly good chap, but he always forgets to pass the port!
A 'Still-Life' photograph was also created by the studio to celebrate the historical aspect & the elements of ritual infused within the fashion of drinking port. The composition was inspired by the famous Dutch 'Vanitas' paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries representing the materialism versus the fragility of life. Symbolism was tackled within the composition; alongside the Bishop of Norwich, other objects were used as specific references such as the oyster shell emphasizing indulgence and the thistle symbolising nobility.