English creamware chocolate stand or trembleuse stand or mancerina with a small bowl, encircled by a band of molded acanthus leaves around the exterior base, supported on a tripod base with three scrolls decorated with acanthus leaves which are attached to a plate with a silver-shaped, lobed rim. This stand was used to hold the chocolate cup in the upper bowl, and bread or rolls rested on the lower plate and were dipped in the chocolate beverage in the cup. Forms similar to this example appear in English creamware catalogues, invariably listed as “chocolate stands.” Identical stands appear both in the 1803/4 Don Pottery pattern book as no. 41, and in the 1814 Leeds Pottery pattern book as no. 44. Chocolate stands were most popular in the Roman Catholic countries of Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Mexico, all of which indulged in the consumption of chocolate, especially for breakfast and during religious fasts. Chocolate (Theobroma cacao), a plant native to Central and South America, was first encountered by Spanish conquistadors in the early 16th century. By 1520, Hernando Cortez had introduced the new beverage to King Charles V's court. With the addition of sugar and spices to the beverage, chocolate became very popular in Spain, and its consumption spread throughout Europe. In the mid-17th century, doctors often advocated drinking chocolate as a medical remedy. Chocolate became consumed primarily as a fashionable and expensive drink. European aristocratic society preferred to drink chocolate at breakfast, ideally served in the bedchamber. Chocolate, with its high percentage of cocoa butter, was also administered to the elderly and infirm as a nutritional supplement.
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