These are not fancy glasses:
They’re celery vases and they’re exactly what they sound like: vases for celery. In the late 1800s, people used these vases to ostentatiously present celery to their guests. Celery, you see, was a status food: a rare delicacy that only wealthy families could afford and, therefore, a way to demonstrate your importance to guests.
As celery began to decline in importance — cheaper varieties became available and its role for the elite declined — celery vases were replaced by celery dishes. “Less conspicuous on the dining table,” writes decorative arts consultant Walter Richie, “the celery dish reflected the diminishing importance of celery.”Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.