Absinthe Fountains

These impressive artefacts stood on the counter in larger bars and bistrots, and enabled several glasses of absinthe to be prepared simultaneously. The glass reservoir held a large block of ice and iced water which was channelled through between two and six spigots to the waiting absinthe glasses. The spigots could be finely calibrated so that the water fell into the glasses in the thinnest possible stream, or drop by drop.

4 robinette Absinthe Terminus Bienfaisante fountain with a hinged lid, topped by the famous “Coq.”

6-robinette Absinthe Legler-Pernod fountain with engraved glass and publicity on the base. Believed to be the only example with original glass still surviving. A 4 robinette fountain with elaborately etched glass, made for Henri Lanique, an absinthe distiller based in Metz. Particularly interesting is the clearly visible influence of the, then fashionable, interest in the art and crafts of

A 4 robinette fountain with elaborately etched glass, made for Henri Lanique, an absinthe distiller based in Metz. Particularly interesting is the clearly visible influence of the, then fashionable, interest in the art and crafts of Japan – known as Japonisme – in the lettering of the word “Absinthe”.

Postcards or photos showing “real-life” scenes of absinthe drinking are extremely rare. This 1893 postcard, showing a group of country folk relaxing over their absinthes at the end of hard day’s fishing, is the only known contemporary photo of an absinthe fountain in use.
An Absinthe Terminus style 4-robinet “Coq” fountain stands on the small gueridon, filling two absinthe glasses, one of which has a spoon balanced on the rim.