Tip: How to Measure Stemware
If you want a set of vintage stemware it's important you know how to measure stems and are aware of size changes over the past 50 years.
Originally wine goblets were small, much smaller than we use today, especially in restaurants or contemporary, trendy glass. Wine goblets in patterns from the vintage glass companies usually held two to five ounces.
Fostoria June Topaz Wine Goblet
This Fostoria June goblet, from the 1930s, is 5 1/2 inches tall and holds three ounces filled right to the brim. That's more the size we see today for cordials or after dinner drinks.
To measure stems, put the goblet on a flat table. Take a stiff ruler and measure vertically to the top of the rim. That's the height. Don't measure sideways from the foot to the rim.
The other key measurement is capacity. Vintage stemware, pitchers, creamers and such always give capacity measured by filling it right to the point of overflowing.
I find it is easiest to take my stem t the cupboard by the sink. I use a one ounce measuring cup and fill the measuring cup right to the brim and pour into the goblet. Then repeat until the goblet will not hold any more. (The hard part is keeping count and not losing track, but maybe you won't have that problem.)
Cambridge Glass Rosalie Etched Crystal Water Goblet
The reason you want to measure full to the brim is that flared pieces, like goblets, will often take a surprising volume from the point where you would fill for use and when filled to the brim. It's too subjective to measure filled the way you would use it.
I have tried filling a stem with water and pouring into a measuring cup. This doesn't work for me at all as half the water ends up in the sink.
If you don't have a one ounce measuring cup, then use a regular liquid measurin cup to fill it most of the way, then use a tablespoon to fill the remainder. Remember a tablespoon is half an ounce.
Water goblets, like the Cambridge Rosalie shown above, are usually between 6 and 10 inches tall and hold somewhere around 10 ounces.
The other thing to be aware of is shape. Wine and water goblets look like goblets. The goblet bowl may be rounded but most often the bowl is taller than it is wide.
You might see sherbets mistakenly called wine goblets. Sherbets look like saucer champagnes or else have V shaped bowls like this Cambridge Chantilly tall sherbet.
Cambridge Chantilly Sherbet
I hope this helps you get the stemware you want!