Inside the Collection

I’ll have my stewed fruit in that nappy please

Nappy glass dish
Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Recently I was poking about in the database when I came across a glass dish described as a ‘nappy’. Initially I thought this must be a case of the wrong image attached to the object record (a rare occurrence of course!) but with further searching I found we had quite a few small glass dishes with the description ‘nappy’. Most of these are from the Crown Corning Glassware collection.

Asking about the Registration office and also my older relatives no one was familiar with the term. However, an Internet search revealed the following:

Definition: a shallow open serving dish with no rim
Pronunciation: nah-pee
Also Known As: the old term for a small bowl, with or without one or two handles, often used when referring to Depression glass or antique china

Answers.Com gives the derivation as “Probably from dialectal nap, bowl, from Middle English, from Old English hnæp”

This particular ‘nappy’ is press moulded carnival glass from a collection featuring Australian and New Zealand flora and fauna motifs.

Crown Crystal Catalogues in the 1930s and 1940s certainly listed ‘nappy’ as the description for many of its small sweet dishes. However, it is easy to understand why this term has fallen from general use, particularly for an eating bowl!

2 responses to “I’ll have my stewed fruit in that nappy please

  • Love it!!!! I have one exactly the same as this, as it was given to my mother as a wedding present in 1948.

    I wasn’t familiar with the term “nappy”, but with “Nappery”, which is table linen. I wonder is there a connection.

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