These engraved silver cups were for drinking yerba mate, a herbal tea popular in South America. They date to the mid-nineteenth century. They are of silver and are engraved with motifs.
Yerba or hierba is a species of holly that is native to Subtropical South America: Northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Southern Brazil and Bolivia. The leaves are used to make the herbal tea drunk from cups such as these. They are steeped in hot water rather than boiled and sometimes sugar is added.
The term ‘hierba’ is Spanish for grass or herb. ‘Yerba’ is a variant spelling more common in Argentina , Uruguay and Mexico. ‘Mate’ is from the Quechua language and means ‘cup’ – so yerba mate literally is ‘herb cup’
Condition: Good .
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