A family firm has resurrected the Victorian tradition of showcasing gin in glass decanters known as Gin Pigs.
Stirling-based Angels’ Share Glass launched the handmade products, designed by renowned glassmaker Tom Young MBE, after being inspired by the story of the Gin Pigs of Brodie Castle in Moray.
The two glass pigs are on display at the Castle near Forres, the ancestral home of Clan Brodie, which features antique furniture, works of art and irreplaceable ceramics collected by generations of the family.
During the 19th century, there was a trend for wealthy households to use a variety of specially-made decanters to showcase different types of alcohol.
These included pig-shaped glass jugs – with a silver stopper depicting the animal’s nose – which became known as Gin Pigs.
Karen Somerville, Managing Director of Angels’ Share Glass, came up with the idea of recreating the unusual decanters following a visit to Brodie Castle.
She said: “I’m a member of the National Trust for Scotland and after reading about the pigs online and visiting the Castle, I was keen to resurrect the story.
“My dad Tom developed some prototypes and from there we came up with a lovely design which will be sold exclusively through our online shop.
“There’s been a real revival of gin recently, particularly in Scotland where so many craft gins are being made, and I think our pigs will be a great novelty product for everyone who enjoys a glass of gin.
“They are a great talking point and make a lovely centrepiece for any table.”
The re-fillable glass pigs are handmade in the firm’s bespoke Bridge of Allan studio and include 50ml of a Scottish gin.
The Gin Pig is held by the tail and the drink poured out through the nose which is portrayed by a cork stopper.
Angels’ Share Glass co-founder Tom Young was delighted to design the product which reminded him of his early glassblowing days when one of his first inventions was a glass pig sealed with a halfpenny inside.
He said: “It’s funny how life comes full circle – one of my first designs was a lucky glass pig with a halfpenny inside which I made for a charity event back in 1974.
“Now, decades later, I’ve been able to put those early skills to good use designing a pig which can hold a measure of gin instead of a halfpenny.
“It’s amazing to see how fashions come around again and hopefully today’s gin-lovers will enjoy using our jugs to pour their gin as much as people did back in the Victorian era.”
Karen and Tom are also working on another product based around a pig – this time a Salt Pig featuring a specially-made whisky salt.
Karen added: “We’re enjoying rejuvenating the Pig this year and having a bit of fun coming up with our latest new products!”
The Gin Pigs, which feature delicate pink ears and blue eyes, are priced at £29.95 and available from the Angels’ Share Glass website – www.angelsshareglass.com/colle
Angels’ Share Glass is based in Bridge of Allan, near Stirling and was established by Master Glassmaker Tom Young MBE and his daughter Karen Somerville in 2013.
For more details, visit www.angelsshareglass.com