May 23, 2024

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History Of Cups

Cups as we know are essentially a container shaped like a bowl that we use to drink beverages from. Cups have been found to be used in the most ancient of times with archaeological findings dating as far back as several millennia. These cups have been used to drink all beverages from water to wine in all manner of shapes and designs from skull cups to goblets to chalices. Goblets on the whole are generally cups with stands made traditionally from metals and were the most common drink ware in medieval times.

Goblets, in fact are featured prominently in multiple artworks dating back thousands of years ago. One of them most common types of goblets are chalices. Chalices are so old that they have been dated back to the early beginnings of the Roman Catholic Church originally used during Holy Communions to carry Communion Wine. These chalices were essentially a form of goblet made of precious metals such as gold and silver and often accessorized with enamels as well as encrusted jewels designed mostly for ceremonial purposes. Today, with goblets and chalices going out of fashion due to their monumental costs of production, they have been replaced by their modern counterparts such as mugs and teacups.

Despite this, mugs predate goblets by several millennia. Before our ancestors ever discovered how to work metal, they first discovered ceramics which enabled them to make mugs very different from what we put our coffee in today. Although the mugs had a handle on the side similar to modern-day coffee mugs, these older versions were made with all matter of materials ranging from skulls, clay, wood and metal. However, these versions of mugs were difficult when used for hot beverages and it was not until around 600A.D. when porcelain was invented in China that the thin-walled mugs we know today gained popularity.

Another popular form of cups is the teacups which are similar to coffee cups with their main difference being the beverage they hold. Both types of cups can only be described as small cups with handles in the sides that allow handling with a thumb and one to two digits normally accompanied by a saucer whereby the cup is placed on the saucer. These cups were most often produced using ceramic materials with the most common being porcelain. The earliest form of cups designed specifically for the drinking of tea originated in the 10th Century B.C. in China.

These cups did not have handles until the production of their European counterparts which usually comprised of entire tea-sets. Another form of cups is the Quaich, a double handled shallow cup with origins tracing back to Scotland. Traditionally these cups were made with wood in the Highlands and were later mounted with silver when they gained popularity in locations such as Edinburgh and Glasgow. Another more peculiar form of the cup is the Pythagorean cup which was used originally to force the user to drink from it only in moderation aside from being used as a drink ware.