What is a Quaich?

A quaich is a Scottish drinking vessel, usually in the form of a shallow bowl with two small handles or lugs. The name comes from Gaelic "cuach", which means cup.

Early quaichs were made of wood, either carved from solid wood or made of staves, sometimes alternating two different types of wood for decorative effect. From the 17th century these were sometimes embellished with silver bands and plates, which allowed for the addition of the owner's initials or coat of arms. By the end of the 17th century quaichs were being made entirely of silver, and some of these were engraved with lines in imitation of the staved wooden quaichs they superseded.

Today quaichs are mainly ornamental and are used as trophies or presentation pieces.

Bakelite quaich
This curiosity is a small plain machine-made quaich of bakelite, presumably dating from th...

Silver presentation quaich
This is a silver quaich with the interior lined with silver-gilt. An 1825 guinea is set in...

Silver quaich
This deep silver quaich has an 1897 shilling set into the base. It was made in Glasgow but...

Staved wooden quaich
This beautiful quaich is made of alternate staves of boxwood and ebony, and probably dates...

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