The use of decanters dates as far back as the Middle Ages, where wines and ales were stored in wooden barrels, stoneware bottles, or containers made from animal skins. For the upper classes, pouring directly from these hefty and unattractive containers to one’s goblet would be unacceptable, so decanters were devised as a form of upper class serving vessel. By the 17th century, blown-glass decanters had begun to appear with long necks and round, flattened bases, perfect for storage on the cool floors.
Most antique bottles were made in hues of green, blue, or aqua. Clear glass was more difficult to manufacture since it required purer ingredients. The colour of the bottles was made using different metals. For example, reds were made with copper, or gold, purples used nickel, greens required copper and browns needed carbon or nickel. White or milk glass, which is mainly found in America, used zinc.
These colours were much rarer until the 20th century when many bottles and decanters were made with clear glass. Collectors often place a higher value on antique bottles with such interesting hues.
Some glass decanters have decorative metal mounts attached to their outsides. Usually made from solid or plate sliver with the more elaborate in gold.
The most respected glassmakers of the last couple of centuries produced decanters.
As much as we still believe in the tradition of decanting a good or even bad labelled drink, the use for these bottles is as vast as the items you can put in them. We have added scent bottles here as these would be ideal for camping or picnics. These scent bottles should be put to good use and not just sit on a sideboard looking pretty.
Firstly, if it's a liquid then it can go in...... then think outside the box.
Small bottles will be great for liquids like soap, mouthwash, table condiments and sauces. The larger bottles for bubble bath, washing up liquid or soap powder.
Try adding a string of lights to make a subtle mood lamp, this is especially effective with the coloured glass bottles.