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"We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year !


Now bring us a figgy pudding,

Now bring us a figgy pudding,

Now bring us a figgy pudding, and a cup of good cheer *.


 We won't go until we get some,

We won't go until we get some,

We won't go until we get some, so bring it right here.


Good tidings we bring to you and your kin.  

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"






* The old English custom was that every family have a steaming bowl of WASSAIL ready to serve throughout the holiday season.  The sharing of wassail at Christmas may relate back to the Northern tradition of drinking from the Yule cup for luck and fellowship.  Carolers "wassailing" during the Christmas period exchanged blessings and luck for a bit of warm wassail and an

assortment of rich foods from the table :  a good piece of bread and aged cheese, a Christmas loaf**, sweetmeats**,

perhaps a beef pie or tart, a plum pudding**.... and a figgy pudding**.

Included in their revelry was also a light-hearted request for a penny or two -

(a request that no decent man could dare refuse).










First Period Worcester "Bishop Sumner" Dessert Dish, England, c1770-75, Gold Crescent Mark


Bow Porcelain Octagonal 2 Quail Dish

In the Arita Manner, England, c1755



* ENGLISH CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS were (and are) very elaborate dishes of bread pudding.

They are traditional with the wassail bowl.


Christmas puddings date back to 16th century Medieval England, when the Church declared that a special pudding should be made on the 25th Sunday after Trinity, and hold 13 flavors - to represent Christ and the 12 apostles, while the "stirrers" turned from East to West in honor of the Magi.  So fine was this pudding that in 1714, the new King George I requested Plum Pudding be served as part of his first Royal Christmas Feast in England.  


The ingredients for these puddings included various dried fruits and nuts, and sometimes suet or mutton fat. However -- there are conflicting stories on the "plums"!  "Plum" - or "plumb" - is another word for "raisins and other dried fruits".  Plum puddings actually did not contain plums.   The name is a carry-over from medieval times when dried prunes and plums were used in pies,  but replaced by raisins in the 16th and 17th centuries.   However, the pudding retained the name "plum pudding". 

And raisins, only when in puddings, are called "plums".  So that is the twisted straight of it!


Now the question : What is a "figgy pudding"?

**A "PLUM PUDDING" contains raisins.   **A"FIGGY PUDDING" contains figs.


The heavy mixture of bread and fruits, spices eggs, milk, sugar and alcohol required much stirring, each family member taking a turn as a "stirrer". The batter was then steamed or boiled in a cloth - or in a basin, popular in the Victorian era.  After steaming,  the pudding was kept in a dark cool place and fed regularly with additional brandy or ale for 5 more weeks - until Christmas Day, then steamed for a few more hours before serving.


The Christmas pudding texture was (and still is) thick and dark - almost black - from the dark sugars and saturation with brandy or other alcohols -- for which reason (probably) the pudding was banned by English Puritans!  Puddings also could hold "charms" with symbolism for the person receiving that particular piece of dessert : a ring for marriage, a coin for wealth, and a silver thimble for a happy yet single life.  Today's pudding is more likely to contain a single sixpence - all the more exciting to find!  


The rich holly-sprigged pudding was brought out during Christmas dinner  - often to applause -  and set on fire with brandy.

In addition to brandy, it could also be served with clotted cream, hard sauce, rum butter or powdered sugar.



Present on ceramic platters or dessert dishes - and, of course, with your very "best" utensils for the occasion:




"Georgian Silver Servers"

George II Silver Hash Spoon, John Gorham, London, 1749, 12-7/8" Long

George III Silver "Onslow" Basting Spoon, Thomas & William Chawner, London, 1768, 11-7/8" Long

George III Silver Basting Spoon, Paul Storr, Coburg Pattern, London, 1816, 12-1/4" Long

monogrammed and bearing arms for Lockhart (county of Lanark, Scotland)

George III Pierced Silver Server, Aldridge & Green, London, 1773, 12-1/2" Long  

George III Silver Sugar Sifter, Eley & Fearn, London, 1805, 5" Long





Clotted Cream, Devon Cream, Rum Butter, Hard Sauce, Wine Sauce, Rich Gravies, all the good stuff with lots of calories...



Large Pair of George III Silver Pedestal Sauceboats

Thomas Ellis, London, 1780, Arms for Hobson


George III Old Sheffield Plate Argyle,

Matthew Boulton, c1810



George III Silver Cream Pail

Charles Chesterman, London, 1769


George III Silver Creamboat

William Sudell, London, 1767


First Period Worcester Dolphin Ewer,  England, c1775





"Bring us out a table

And spread it with a cloth;

Bring us out a MOULDY CHEESE

And some of your CHRISTMAS LOAF!"



** A CHRISTMAS LOAF is a sweet spiced bread. 

In Yorkshire, the Yule spice cake contains sultanas, currants, candied peels, and spices,

with varying ingredients and methods of preparation. 

The superstition is that the cook will have as many happy months...or more likely, days...

in the coming years as she has requests for her holiday cake!






George III Silver Salver

Richard Rugg, London, 1766-7

crested with Porcupine over a cypher WP,

within and oak and laurel wreath


George III Silver Double-Crested Salver

 John & Edward Edwards, London 1814

crested for Kersteman (dexter)

 and Hasted (sinister)



Silver salvers were originally used for serving and clearing food and drink. Today they find use for foods such as hors d'oeuvres, breads, mouldy cheeses, and small desserts - just as a Christmas loaf The pierced porcelain basket below was made for small cakes and fruits. However, it is somewhat rare, and you might just wish to display it on the shelf!



First Period Worcester Oval Pierced Basket, "The Pavilion Pattern"

England, c1770, somewhat rare, in the Japanese Imari manner




Victorian Silver Stilton Cheese Scoop

Mappin & Webb, Sheffield, England, 1878





** SWEETMEATS are candied fruits, or confections and candies.

The practice of "preserving" fruits. and nuts in sugar or honey may date to the early Egyptian culture. 

Their consumption for pleasure dates to the 17th century, including the English "sugarplum" -

a combination of dates, almonds, spices and honey or sugar, fashioned into the shape of a plum.

In 17th century England, a small fork (otherwise thought of as diabolic, as the Latin word "furca" related to a "pitchfork")

was allowed to be used to eat the soft delicate and sticky sweetmeats. The fork possessed 3 tines to represent the God-given thumb and 2 fingers thought appropriate for eating God's foods.



Pair of Chinese Export Shell-Form Sweetmeat Dishes Qianlong, c1750,

with completely molded bodies 


Rare & Fine Pair of George III Silver Escallop Shells Robert Makepeace, London, 1772,

with pierced & crested handle  



Bow Porcelain Dolphin & Three-Shell Sweetmeat / Pickle Stand

England, c1752-55




 Rare Continental Silver-Gilt 3-Tine Sweetmeat Fork, c1700

small mark to the terminal, probably French



And WHAT? is Christmas without a fresh cranberry salad - moulded or sauced :



First Period Worcester Moulded Junket Dish

England, c1768-70






Set of 6 Chinese Export Mandarin Dinner Plates

Qianlong, c1760, for fine dining, or for service plates





Set of 6 Queen Anne / George I Britannia

Dognosed (Wavy-End) Tablespoons

Thomas Allen (4), 1710; John Millington (2), 1721

Crest for Mainwaring 


Set of 6 George III Silver Private Dye-Stamped

Dessert Spoons

John Lampfert, London, 1770

Crest for Elliston



 Fine Set of 12 Silver Dognose Dessert Forks

George Adams, London, 1878

Initialed with a Gothic M


Pair of George I Silver Hanoverian

Pattern Dessert Forks

W over ? (probably William Scarlett) London, 1724,

arms of an unknown family impaling Moore






Large George III Old Sheffield Plate Tray, England,

 c1810-20, crested with a cockerel on a trumpet - Acheson (Scotland & Ireland)



** Wassail can be made from ale, or hard apple cider. 

There are many recipes available - most traditional ones including apples, oranges, berries, sugar, lemons, cloves, cinnamon sticks, 

ginger and nutmeg or allspice - heated and served with cooked apple slices and sometimes toast on top -

the toast possibly the source of the term "toasting".  Some recipes include brandy and eggs. 

It can easily be made in a crock pot.

English Figgy and Plum Puddings are both found online in America, as are Christmas Loafs.  Try Amazon.com


"The Wassail Bowl", Hollis, Engraving c1880

Top : George III Silver-Mounted Lignum Vitae Wassail Bowl, England, c1800, Personal Collection



Please CLICK the ABOVE IMAGES or TITLES for further images and information.

Click here for Christmas Catalog :

"...But Now We Come a-Wassailing"


"All Out of Darkness We Have Light..."

"Wassail! Wassail! All Over the Town"...& for the Fruit Trees



As usual, please email or call if you have any questions. 


And we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


"Wæs Hal!"


Millicent Ford Creech


901-761-1163 (gallery) / 901-827-4668 (cell)



Hours : Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment


Complimentary Gift Wrapping


mfcreech@bellsouth.net  or  mfordcreech@gmail.com



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Now bring us some figgy pudding