Court Confectioners

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

court confectioners were an indispensable part of noble European households from the Renaissance right through the nineteenth century. Depending on the time and place, they created preserved fruit, candy, ice cream, and sugar sculptures, as well as numerous other sweet delights. Because they worked in private households, their raw materials were not subject to guild restrictions that defined what a confectioner was permitted to make. Since their role was expressly to turn expensive sugar into objects of conspicuous consumption, they were also not limited by the more mundane monetary considerations of artisans working for a broader market.