Grant Macdonald London Paragon Champagne Flutes


What’s in a glass? Or is it a goblet? Is it ancient or modern?  The design of these unique champagne flutes bring together the old and the new in a remarkable way...

The Paragon Flute is technically a goblet. The word Goblet comes from the old English word 'gobelet' meaning cup. They first appear in history around 2500 BC, in bronze and later gold. The Goblet came to Britain with the Romans, and English-made goblets date back around 600 years. So it’s a cup design about as old as metal cups get. Or is it?



The champagne flute dates back to 17th Century France. The classic flute shape is narrow and long with a tapered base to minimise the surface area relative to volume - so you can get a decent drink out of a glass without it going flat on the wider curves of a wine glass. So it’s a design that’s a lot more modern than a goblet. Except the inside of the flute is 24ct gold plated. Gilding silver is referenced in Homer’s Odyssey, so around 232 BC. The purpose of gilding in this way is simply, gold doesn’t tarnish like other metals, and so it’s better for holding acidic liquids like wines and spirits. 



So it’s old? No. The base of the flute is an open worked design produced in mathematical precision and perfection from complex CAD modelling and 3D printing technology. They would be impossible to produce without pushing the limits of rapid prototyping. It couldn’t have been done 20 years ago. So the ancient, medieval, renaissance design is about as modern as modern gets, design wise.

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