This is an authentic, antique pastis water fountain from the early 20th century. The glass globe is mouth blown and the fountain is handmade. Fountain has four metal faucets, accommodating up to four glasses at the same time. All four spouts are in good condition and are firmly secured to the base. All four of the four spigots turn. The mouth-blown glass globe is in excellent condition. There are no cracks or chips in the glass globe. The fountain contains the original asbestos water filter inside the bottom of the globe, once used to filter what was believed to be impurities in the the water. At one time this filter would have been removable to clean. No restoration is needed.
Since its arrival into the United States, nothing in or on the fountain has changed or altered.
Absinthe or pastis fountains were most often used in high-end bars because of their expensive price tag. The fountain was brought to the customer's table, where the customer would prepare the absinthe themselves. Unfortunately due to accidents, very few antique fountains have survived intact with its original glass bowl. Absinthe fountains were (and still are today) the preferred way to prepare absinthe or pastis, as one can control the rate of water to their liking.
After the banning of production and consumption of absinthe in France in 1915, most distilleries began looking for alternatives to what had become the most popular drink in France. They filled this void by producing pastis, a liquor tasting similar to absinthe and without the grande wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium, the outlawed ingredient in absinthe). In the early days, pastis was artisanally distilled using whole herbs, but over time, commercially prepared essences and/or extracts began to be used, as well as artificial coloring. They also began adding sugar during the manufacturing process, changing the liquor to a liqueur.
This is a rare example of absinthe/pastis history and should be considered show piece. It is not advisable for use.
- Circa 1910 - 1925.
- Fountain measures approx. 19.25" (49 cm) tall.
- Approximately 9" (23.2 cm) under spouts for glasses.
- Glass globe is mouthblown and is original to the fountain.
- Imported from France.