Once a staple of everyday party-hosting, the punch bowl is rarely considered these days. You wouldn’t buy one unless you were outfitting a restaurant or catering service, but I can guarantee if you live long enough, you will inherit one. Now, anything that is large enough to serve drinks to an entire party can be a punch bowl, and bowls made to serve parties can also be used for other things. Some of the world’s most famous punch bowls (and there are some) have been used for other purposes, like to cool wine bottles, feed the dog, row a boat in, or baptize a baby, and they have served as swimming pools, sports trophies, and grave makers.
What makes a punch bowl famous? Using a punch bowl for a dog dish isn’t enough, because anyone can do that. But some punch bowls are works of art, while others get their gleam from the celebrities who used them. Most notable are the epic parties they have served. Read the stories of four punchbowls that went down in history at Atlas Obscura.
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