Up For Consideration

For quite some time now I’ve had a sweet little child’s cup and saucer in a red aesthetic print design which is marked “Tunis” and “E. S”.


I have seen patterns called “Tunis” made by other potters but the design is not the same as the one on this cup and saucer.  And who was “E. S”?  I could not readily identify a potter who would have used this mark.


The impressed mark above the pattern name in the photo above appears to read “Ivory”. But that is just a guess on my part.

1. New Wharf marks

New Wharf Pottery Marks

I do know that New Wharf Pottery did produce this same “Tunis” pattern. And I have also seen that “E. S” mark on another New Wharf Pottery pattern, “The Cotton Plant”. So examples of these two same patterns can be found with the “New Wharf” mark as well as the “E. S” mark.  Was there a connection between New Wharf Pottery and that elusive “E. S”?

2. The Pottery Gazette, American and Canadian Edition, January 1st 1880

The New Wharf Pottery ad shown above came from The Pottery Gazette, American and Canadian Edition, January 1st, 1880 (thanks to Steve Birks at thepotteries.org). The lower right corner of this ad shows “Agent, Mr. E. Sherer.”  Could this “E. Sherer” be “E. S”?  Did New Wharf’s agent have some items marked with his initials?

So who was E. Sherer?  It turns out there were two E. Sherers…father and son…both in the English crockery and glass trade.  An 1867 issue of the London Gazette identified E. Sherer as a “glass and china dealer”.  E. Sherer was Edward Sherer.  His son, Edward Joseph Sherer, was born in 1850 (per his obituary which follows).  I am assuming the 1867 London Gazette was referring to the father as the son would have only been 17 years old at the time.  But, as this obituary states, both father and son were in the same line of business.

3. The Pottery & Glass Salesman, Vol. 15 April 12 1917

It is conceivable that the E. Sherer mentioned in the 1880 New Wharf Pottery ad could have been either father or son.  But were either of these the “E. S” I was looking for?  I wasn’t convinced, and kept on searching.

And that search took me to another “E. S”… Ebenezer Swann.  A notice in the December 8, 1882 issue of The London Gazette (below) states that the “Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Absalom Wood, Thomas Francis Wood, William Wood, and Ebenezer Swann, carrying on business under the style or firm of the New Wharf Pottery Company….was this day dissolved by mutual consent.”  E. Swann left and the Woods continued in business as the New Wharf Pottery Company.

The February 16, 1884 issue of “The Furniture Gazette” indicates that Mr. Swann was in business with Mr. Poulson, of Globe Pottery, Tunstall.  The October 8,  1886 issue of the London Gazette contains a notice that the partnership between Ebenezer Swann and William Poulson has been dissolved by mutual consent and the business will be carried on by Ebenezer Swann.

4. Swann & Poulson

This could be our “E. S”.  Ebenezer Swann had been a principal at New Wharf Pottery and he continued in the business as an earthenware manufacturer.

5. Marks

Comparison of Marks

The image above shows the “E. S” marks for the Tunis and Cotton Plant patterns.  I’ve included another mark in this image, that of “S. &. P.” for the Brooklyn pattern.  Could this “S. &. P.” be a Swann and Poulson mark?  The banner and font styles (with periods after the initials) is very similar to the “E. S” marks.  It appears that Ebenezer Swann was in business by himself between 1882 and 1884 as well as after October 5, 1886.  In a book by Richard Henrywood, Ebenezer Swann and E. Swann (at Globe Potteries) are listed in various directories from 1887-1892.  So that “E. S” mark could have been used at various time periods.

I have seen the “Brooklyn” pattern mentioned above attributed to Skelson & Plant. Following are notices, listings and a Skelson & Plant ad.

6. Skelson & Plant

Geoffrey A. Godden in his 1983 book, Staffordshire Porcelain, says this about Skelson & Plant:

1893-1896 W. H. Skelson succeeded Skelson & Plant at the Sutherland Pottery, Longton, where both china and eartherwares were produced.  No marked examples have been reported.  Skelson & Plant C. 1868-1893 This partnership of the new Market Works, Chancery Lane, Longton, and the Heathcote Road Pottery, Longton, are listed as china manufacturers in Keates & Fords.

I’m guessing that the “E. S” I’m looking for is Ebenezer Swann.  But this topic is up for consideration.

Posted in aesthetic, antique, E. S mark, Ebenezer Swann, New Wharf Pottery, Staffordshire pottery, Transfer print, transferware, Tunis pattern, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Hope & Carter

I have seen several examples of pieces of a child’s tea set in an aesthetic collage pattern made by Hope & Carter.


The majority of this pattern that I have seen are unmarked but I have seen a few that had the impressed “H & C” Hope & Carter mark.  The saucer shown above is in a very dark brown, almost black, print.  I have also seen this pattern in red, blue and green.


The waste bowl shown above is a green print on a tan background.  I am uncertain is the tan background is the original color or if it has aged to this shade.

The January 14, 1862 notice in the London Gazette documents the formation of Hope & Carter.  John Hope had formerly been in partnership with Thomas Pinder and Joseph Bourne.  On January 13, 1862 Mssrs. Pinder and Bourne went their own way and John Hope joined with John Carter as earthenware manufacturers at the Fountain Place manufactory in Burslem, county of Stafford.

1862 The London Gazette Jan. 14 1862 pg245

Although thought by some to cater almost exclusively to the English trade, the following article from the August 17, 1876 Daily Register, documents a legal matter brought against John Hope, doing business as Hope & Carter, in New York.  I don’t know what this lawsuit was about and I don’t know if there were other lawsuits over the years.

1876 The Daily Register Aug 17, 1876

It is noted that ads for Hope & Carter pottery had appeared in publications across the United States.  The 1877-78 R. H. Macy’s catalogue carried a line of Hope & Carter pottery.  Although the “Chinese” pattern (sometimes referred to as “Chang” pattern) shown below does not indicate Hope & Carter as the manufacturer, it is noted elsewhere within the catalogue.

1877-78 R.H.Macy's & Co Catalogue

The following ad is from the Pottery and Glass Trades Journal, October 1, 1879.  Note that it states: “Suitable for the following markets: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Cape Colonies, South America, France, Germany, Russia, United States, West Indies, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and The United Kingdom.”

1879 The Pottery and Glass Trades Journal Oct.1,1879

The following article appeared in the November 15, 1879 Furniture Gazette:

1879 The Furniture Gazette Nov. 15 1879

This 1879 article discusses the hard time the English potteries were having competing with the Trenton (New Jersey) potteries and specifically mentions Hope & Carter.  The following year, 1880, Hope & Carter closed up shop.

1885 Pottery Gazette Feb.2 1885

The Edge, Malkin & Co. ad shown above from the February 2, 1885 Pottery Gazette announced that they were able to supply certain patterns purchased at the Hope & Carter sale.

Hope & Carter had an impressive list of patents obtained over the years:


Some of these patents did not indicate what the subject matter was, thus “not given” is shown.

plate patents

Some plate patents are shown above and some shape patents follow:

shape patents

Hope & Carter offered many different patterns, probably the most successful being Chinese.  Some of their known pattern names are:


The aesthetic collage pattern on the playtime tea sets shown at the beginning of this post was a turn from the more traditional styles offered by the company.  It could have been an effort by Hope & Carter to stay relevant and continue in business.  It is also noted that Hope & Carter appeared at the 1880 Melbourne (Australia) Exhibition.  It was a long and costly trip for them and most likely another attempt to hang in there.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work as their business closed that same year.


I don’t know if this pattern was ever given a name or if it had been advertised.  I do know that it is my favorite Hope & Carter pattern.  This little blue and white tea cup and saucer are available for sale at my Etsy shop:


Posted in aesthetic, child tea set, children toy tea set, Hope & Carter, play, playtime pottery, Staffordshire pottery, Transfer print, transferware, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Over 100 Years of Jigger Spoons

They weren’t just a flash in the pan.  What was once known as a “novelty” has been around for over a century now.  The jigger spoons shown in the photo below are available for sale at my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenofsienna.


The oldest ad I could find for something that looks like a jigger spoon dates back to 1914.

1. 1914 Harper's Bazaar Dec. 1914 pg63

The ad shown above came from the December 1914 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. This “silver cocktail spoon whose handle forms a cup to measure the ingredients for the drinks”, later a/k/a jigger spoon, was offered by Chatillon Co., Inc.

2. 1915 Harper's Bazaar Vol.50 pg104

The jigger spoon shown above, and its accompanying cocktail mixer, are my favorite.  I love the combination of etched glass and silver on both.  This ad came from a 1915 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

3. 1915 Vanity Fair pg120

The Mark Cross ad shown above came from a 1915 issue of Vanity Fair.  The jigger portion is described as being a “frosted-design glass” and looks remarkably similar to the Chatillon design in the ad above it.  The spoon and handle are “of Prince’s silver plate” which is a trademark used by Mappin & Webb, an English company.  It could be that Mappin & Webb manufactured jigger spoons even earlier with their own mark.

The earliest mention that I could find of the term “jigger spoon” was in a 1924 issue of Theatre Magazine and it was sterling.  The term “jigger spoon” was also mentioned in a 1931 Meriden, Connecticut newspaper article about pilots visiting the area who were given “silver jigger spoons” manufactured by the Napier Company.

4. 1931 D84090 Lavin

The earliest patent that I could find for a jigger spoon design didn’t appear until 1931. James A. Lavin didn’t call it a Jigger spoon, he called it a bulk measuring device. But it sure looks like a Jigger spoon to me…except for that weird little cover sitting on the Jigger. Unfortunately, his patent description doesn’t shed much light on the intent of this device other than bulk measurement! One of the jigger spoons available at my Etsy shop is marked Lavin & Lauer.

5. Three in One

Of course, always looking to improve on an idea, by the second half of 1931 the “three-in-one spoon” was being marketed.  A jigger and spoon wasn’t enough…a bottle opener had to be incorporated into the design.  Snippets of newspaper articles are shown above documenting this.

5. 1932 D87567 Flauder

The 1932 Alfred Flauder patent shown above combines a jigger (top hat) and spoon as well as a cork screw and bottle opener.  Four-in-one; truly a novelty!

6. Jolly Good Mixer

The Flauder design was marketed as the “Jolly Good Mixer”.  It was manufactured by W. B. Mfg. Co., Bridgeport, Conn.

7. Valve Jigger

The jigger spoon design took another update in the 1940s with the addition of a stepped jigger and spring valve. Pour the liquid into the jigger and press the spoon against the bottom of the glass and voila, the liquid flows down into the glass. Seems a little too contrived to me, but what do I know?  The images above show ads for this new, supposedly improved, jigger spoon.

8. Misc. Metals

Time marches on and the Jigger spoon continued to be updated. In addition to the sterling and silverplated designs, aluminum, chrome and stainless steel appeared on the market as shown in the above ads.


And that brings us to today, 105 years since it all began (as far as we know).  Reed & Barton (now owned by Lenox) is currently offering the stainless steel jigger spoon shown above, claiming it has that 1920s look. Long live the jigger spoon!



Posted in jigger, Jigger spoon, Napier Co., Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Message to Someone Somewhere

I occasionally search online for interesting cocktail shakers and came across the Cartier shaker shown below:

img_20190128_124354What got my attention were the many signatures on the shaker as well as the prominently displayed initials “J.R.H.” at the top with the date April 27, 1940.  I had seen similar such presentation shakers before. Since all the signatures appeared to be male, I guessed this was a shaker presented to a groom on the occasion of his wedding by a group of his friends.

I confirmed that the date April 27, 1940 was a Saturday and I felt certain I was on the right track assuming it was a wedding.

So I tackled the names that I could decipher. August Heckscher was distinctive enough and should be an easy search. And it was! His Wikipedia bio follows. He was quite a prominent figure: Appointed by John F. Kennedy as the first White House Special Consultant on the Arts and later NewYork City Parks Commissioner Appointed by John Lindsay.

img_20190128_053955His brother, Gustave Maurice, signed the Shaker as “Maury” and this is his Wikipedia page:


Horace W. Davis was another signature and upon finding the following obituary I realized that what these men had in common was that they were Yale graduates.


Robert Train, another Yale graduate:


Frederic H. Lassiter, yet another:


I searched that April 27, 1940 date and Yale and, as luck would have it, a wedding announcement appeared… Frances Ann Cannon was Wed to John R. Hersey. J. R. H. John R. Hersey! Yes!


John R. Hersey was not just another Yale graduate, he was a well known author and Pulitzer prize winner for his novel A Bell for Adano.

His bride, Frances Ann Cannon, had previously dated John F. Kennedy for some time.  JFK was a guest at their wedding.

Following is a link to a very interesting article on Hersey, Cannon and JFK.


So whoever you are who owns this shaker, maybe you are already aware of all this history regarding it.  But if you don’t know and are researching it, I hope you find this post!

Posted in April 27, 1940, August Heckscher, Frederic W. Lassiter, Gustave Heckscher, Horace W. Davis, J R H, John R. Hersey, JRH, Pulitzer Prize, Robert Train, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


I started to do research on a little glass bottle which had a glass tube within it and the words “You-Mix-It” embossed diagonally across the front.


There was foil over the top which read “Manhattan” and “Not Genuine If Seal Is Broken”.


But do you think I could find another example of a similar bottle? No.  Luckily, however, I was able to find some ads.  The earliest ad dated to September 1913.

motor vol.20 sept. 1913

Although the illustration of the bottle in the ad did not appear to have “You-Mix-It” on the front, the ad indicates that “You-Mix-It” was a trade mark of the Symphony Cocktail Co. of Chicago, Illinois.  It went on to state “withdraw the cork from the outer bottle (no corkscrew necessary); pour the contents of the inner bottle into the outer bottle, then pour in the cocktail glass.”  The ad stated these cocktails were available in Manhattan, Martini and Princess.  Princess???? What the heck was a Princess cocktail?  Curiously, the words “Trade Mark” were beneath the word Princess.  So the Symphony Cocktail people trade marked the Princess cocktail.  Something else to research!

1916 life, volume 67, issue 1748 pg821

The 1916 ad above sheds a little light on the Princess cocktail. It says it is “a new, distinctive and delicious gin cocktail”.

1917 rand mcnally philadelphia guide-1

The 1917 ad shown above does not show “You-Mix-It” on the bottle, but it does show a patent number.

life, volume 69 1917 pg469

Another 1917 ad shown above adds the “Celery Nip” to the mix.  It might be difficult to read but it says that these nips are available in bourbon, rye or scotch whiskey in the outer bottle and there is celery tonic in the inner bottle. It states “Your money back if anyone can detect whiskey odor.”  Hmmm, I didn’t know celery tonic could do that. You learn something every day.

So off to find that patent!

1909 callahan 1

And here it is!  A 1909 patent by A. F. Callahan for “Bottle Structure”.

1909 callahan 2

The Symphony Cocktail Company was established as a corporation in 1919.  See various info below.


My little bottle is a molded bottle produced by an automated bottle making machine.  My bottle reference books states that “In 1909, improvements to the machine made it possible to produce small prescription bottles”…similar to my bottle.  The timing of the patent and the formation of Symphony Cocktail Company fit in perfectly with this machine improvement.

Okay, so what about that Princess cocktail?  I knew it was made of gin and I knew it was offered in the teens. So I started looking in bartender guides for that period of time.  I looked at lots of them and came up empty.  And then I got lucky.  I found a recipe for a Princess cocktail that had gin as one of the ingredients in J. A. Didier’s (known as Jake to his friends) “The Reminder, Up-To-Date Bartenders’ Vest Pocket Guide”, the fifth Edition printed in 1917.  The recipe follows:

the reminder j.a.didier 1917 pg148-49

The first edition of this book, printed in 1909, does not include this recipe.  In his Preface for the fifth edition, Jake states “There are many new recipes contained in this book never before published, and all are up-to-date”.  So this must be THE Princess cocktail recipe.

I was surprised to see Creme Yvette listed as an ingredient. See 1916 ad below. Creme Yvette is a blend of berries and violet flowers and was introduced in 1890 I believe.  It survived Prohibition and was available until 1969 when it was discontinued.

1916 life, volume 67, issue 1748 pg820

But it has recently be revived and is gaining popularity.  I don’t see anyone these days making a Princess cocktail with it.  Come on, folks! Revive that Princess cocktail!

Posted in Creme Yvette, Didier Bartenders Guide, Princess Cocktail, ready to serve cocktail, Symphony Cocktails, Uncategorized, You Mix It | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Quaker Silver Company

I knew nothing about the Quaker Silver Company until I came in the possession of a 12 inch long sterling silver cocktail stirrer. The back of the very shallow round bowl had hallmarks which were a “Q” and a crown symbol followed by some other symbol which I could not decipher.



The finial at the other end looked like this:


Researching the “Q” and crown symbol hallmarks, I found that the series of marks on my stirrer belonged to the Quaker Silver Co. of North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Now I needed to find out their history.  And it turned out to be a little complicated. (So what else is new?)  I think the best way to explain it is by tackling it chronologically. Following is a compilation of snippets tracing the origins of Quaker Silver back to the year 1924 and the Williams & Green Co. of Providence, RI.  Harold K. Green was one of the principals of this company.  For some reason unknown to me, the Quaker Silver Co. of Attleboro, MA was incorporated in 1926 for the purpose of taking over the business of Williams & Green.  Harold K. Green was president and sales manager of the new company.  James W. Jennings, who was treasurer and general manager of the old company assumed the same positions in the new.

1. Williams Green Quaker 1920s

In 1927 Mr. Green and Mr. Jennings obtained a patent for a vase, which follows.

2. 1927 73373

In 1930 Quaker Silver obtained a trademark featuring the face of a woman with a bonnet, a “Quaker Girl” I would call her. It mentions that this trademark had been in use since February 1926.  The following image also shows the Quaker Silver mark used on their sterling pieces.  And lastly, a 1931 ad mentioning pewter products offered by them, including cocktail shakers.

3. Trademark & Ad

In 1929, James W. Jennings met by chance a young woman named Belle Kogan who was just starting in the field of art and design as well as working in her father’s jewelry store in New York City.  A most popular product of Quaker Silver were salt and pepper shakers, many of which Belle had sold at here father’s store. Ms. Kogan was invited to Attleboro to visit.  She was hired as a designer for the company. The “Mr. Stone” mentioned in the snippet at the top of the following image is Samuel M. Stone, well known for various jewelry related companies, included the famous “SWANK” men’s line of jewelry.

But, by 1936, Quaker Silver Co. had gone out of business (see following snippet from court documents):

4. End First Quaker Silver Co. 1926-1936

In 1939, however, the name Quaker Silver Co. had been “revived” by James W. Jennings (president and treasurer) and the company was established in North Attleborough, MA.  Note: Some people spell this North Attleboro and some spell it with the “ugh” at the end.  The Quaker Silver Co. trademark (first used September 28, 1939) is shown below as well. This is the mark on my stirrer.

5. Jennings Quaker Silver Co.

Following is an image from a 1950 Chilton’s Jewelers’ Circular showing a “Windsor Bowl” in sterling (mentioned above as well).

6. 1950 Chilton's Jewelers' Circular Keystone

So, what happened to Belle Kogan, you may ask.  According to the following snippets from 1939 publications, she was designing for Quaker again when the new company opened.  And it was reported in a 1951 issue of Modern Plastics, that she had her own studio and was co-owner of Quaker Silver Co.

7. Kogan

The following article from a 1959 issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle states that “she (Belle) and her father bought the firm (Quaker) and moved it to North Atttleboro.”

8. Spokane Daily Chronicle Aug 3, 1959

Ethel Lewis, in her 1942 book “Decorating the Home” shows a table set with silver designed by Belle Kogan for the Quaker Silver Co.  With the exception of my cocktail stirrer, I have not found any flatware attributed to the Quaker Silver Co. If any of you reading this know of flatware manufactured by this firm, I’d love to hear from you.

9. Decorating the home, by Ethel Lewis. 1942 smaller

The October 17, 1959 Meriden Record reports that the Quaker  Silver Co. had been acquired by Gorham Manufacturing.

10. 1959 Meriden Record Oct 17, 1959

So there you have it, the tale of two Quaker Silver Cos. I have a feeling that my cocktail stirrer was designed by the first famous female industrial designer, Belle Kogan!

Posted in Belle Kogan, Harold K. Green, James W. Jennings, Quaker Silver Co., Uncategorized, Williams & Green | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Looking for a Christmas gift?

Finding a good gag Christmas gift can be difficult.  But when you are looking for a gift for that special someone, like dear old Uncle Jim or your favorite bartender, the job becomes even more difficult.  Following are some suggestions for vintage cocktail related gifts.

1. Cocktail Mittens

I would love to find a pair of the cocktail mittens shown above (believe me, I’ve looked). Not only are they practical (keeping your hands toasty warm while you shake up a batch of daiquiris) but they are musical as well.  Little bells are sewn inside, so you can actually play Jingle Bells while shaking. Some enterprising someone should sew up a few of these mittens (with bells, of course) and offer them for sale.  I bet they would sell like hotcakes!

2. Jigger Whack

The Jigger Whack sounds like a practical gift….combination ice mallet, ice scoop and jigger.  The top ad says it has “a thousand uses”.  Hmmmm.  In any case, the good news is that you can actually find these on line!


The “merry-go-round” revolving bar was offered in at least three different versions and you can find them on line.  It certainly would add interest to someone’s vintage barware collection.

4. Hang Over Mixer Set

Other than having a clever name, the “Hang Over” mixer set doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose.  The high hat jigger hangs off the side of the mixing cup. And the purpose for that would be????

5. Jigger Chaser

The “jigger chaser” might look familiar to some of you.  They are known as quaffer double bubble layer shot glasses today.  You see many new ones on line with the Jack Daniels logo on them.  But the patent for this design actually dates back to 1939.  If you look hard enough, you might be able to find a vintage jigger chaser.

6. Swizzle Stick Termometers

These thermometer swizzle sticks look down right dangerous.  Mercury cocktails anyone?  But vintage boxed sets can still be found.  The Ohio Thermometer Co. offered a version as did the John L. Chaney Co.


The “sportsman’s mixer” is kind of strange.  You get a canoe paddle stirrer, a tennis racquet strainer and a shotgun shell shaped mixer.  Unusual grouping.

8. Thingama Jigger

If you are looking for a gift for your plumber, the Thingama-Jigger would be the perfect choice.  But try to find one!

9. Martini Meter

Now I really like this “martini meter”.  It has a cork top with a little green bulb that looks like an olive.  It is made to fit into your bottle of vermouth. Squeeze the bulb and dispense vermouth into your drink, drop by drop.  It holds 724 drops (one ounce total). Invento RX Martini offered these with Noilly Prat branding and a box with gorgeous graphics.  Every now and then you see one for sale.

10. Walking Jigger

These walking jiggers are truly a fun gift.  Both Poynter Products and Invento offered them (the Invento jigger came in a leather like case).  There are some that can be found on line. I do like the concept.

11. Martini Spike

You can definitely find these vintage Gorham sterling silver martini spikes on line (in the original box).  Nice classy gift.

12. One Arm Boozer

I really don’t know how this slot machine whiskey dispenser “one-arm boozer” works. I have seen one, with box, on line (directions included) and it looks complicated! It takes all coins except 50 cent pieces and is battery operated.  But it is different, that’s for sure.

So there you have it! Hope you find this list helpful. Unfortunately, you can’t find any of these items at my Etsy shop.  And I’m really serious about those martini mittens. Someone should be making them….

Posted in bartender, barware, Christmas gifts, cocktail, cocktail strainer, vintage | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Toddy Culture

Recently someone asked me about toddy sticks.  I was familiar with toddy strainers, I even had one (photo below) for sale in my Etsy shop, but had never researched toddy sticks or, for that matter, anything toddy related.


My understanding of a toddy strainer was that it was similar to a julep strainer, but smaller…a little over 4 inches in length.  But now that my woeful ignorance of all things toddy was brought to my attention, I decided to do some investigating.  I’ve assembled the following tidbits of information for my further reference.

A toddy is basically strong spirits (like rum or whiskey), sugar and water.  It can be served room temperature or hot.  For our purposes here in this post, we will be discussing the hot toddy.  So if that recipe of alcohol, sugar and water is correct, why would you need a strainer?

I found the following paragraph in Alice Morse Earle’s 1906 “China Collecting in America”:


I had no idea that porcelain toddy strainers existed and love that sentence of Ms. Earle’s “I fancy some luxury-loving, toddy-drinking, money-spending old Newport merchant invented, explained to the Chinese, and imported to America these pretty porcelain toddy strainers.”  And Ms. Earle also solved the reason for the strainer, those pesky lemon and orange seeds.  I have since learned that toddy recipes varied according to individual tastes; some put spices and herbs in their concoctions in addition to citrus.

It appears that toddies were made and served in various ways….in the tavern, at home with family and when company came calling.

Let’s start with company.  To really impress your friends and neighbors, you would pull out the old toddy bowl or two.  These toddy bowls were smaller versions of punch bowls and measured approximately 10 inches in diameter.


Many of the pottery bowls were manufactured in the 19th century by Scottish potters, such as J. & M.P. Bell and the Annfield Pottery of John Thomson (shown above, picture from the Scottish Pottery Society).  These bowls are hard to find today most likely because 1) those that have them are hanging on to them, 2) they have broken or 3) those that are selling them don’t know they are toddy bowls and are not describing them as such.


The April 28, 1897 article of The Jewelers’ Circular featured an article on a silver punch bowl and toddy bowl sets made by Whiting Mfg. Co. and presented to the battleship Oregon by the citizens of that state.  Pretty fancy for a battleship, no?  In any case, you can see the relative size of the toddy bowl to the punch bowl.  Ladles were included as were glass punch cups in silver holders and tray. I don’t know if the punch cups were also used for the toddy.


The article above came from the 1908 Stirling Antiquary and mentions that toddy ladles could be found made of wood, brass, bone, pewter and silver.

Another interesting way to transfer the toddy from the bowl and into the cup is the toddy lifter.


The above article, from “Collecting Old Glass, English and Irish” by J. H. Yoxall,  mentions that “The earlier way of doing this (transferring a drink from a bowl to a glass) was by a silver or wooden ladle, but about the year 1800 the glass lifter (which is really a pipette or siphon) came into use.”  This really says something about how long we have been consuming toddies!  These toddy lifters have a hole at the bottom which, when sunk into the toddy, allowed the fluid to fill the chamber. Placing your thumb at the opening at the top created a vacuum and you could then transfer your toddy to your glass.

And speaking of glasses, most likely footed cups with handles or rummers were used for toddies.  A rummer is a goblet like footed, short stemmed glass.  You wouldn’t want to hold on to a hot glass, so most likely you would want to use something with a stem or handle.

The following article from “Antique English Pottery, Porcelain and Glass” mentions “giant rummers” being used in combination with toddy lifters.


Now, let’s move on to imbibing of the toddy at home.


Most likely you would boil some water and place it in a toddy kettle.  Toddy kettles have little feet on them, so as not to damage the table by the hot contents. Some toddy kettles, as the one shown above from the 1883 Army & Navy General Catalogue, have a spirit lamp as a heating source to keep the water hot.  It should be noted that toddies were usually consumed after dinner (in addition to cold and damp weather) and more than one was usually had, so it was important to keep that water warm.

Toddy plates, on which to place the mug and spoon, were also popular.  These plates were usually pottery (Scottish or English) or pressed glass.


The image above was taken from the book “Glass Tableware, Bowls & Vases” by Jane Shadel Spillman.  She dates this plate to 1827-35 and attributes it possibly to the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company.

So, your sitting at the kitchen or dining table.  You have a toddy kettle, mug or rummer before you on a toddy plate.  You would also have a decanter or bottle of your spirit of choice.  And you would have sugar available.  Now you need a spoon to mix the concoction.


The first image above comes from a 1907 Good Housekeeping magazine. The second image came from an 1894 B. A. Stevens catalog.

Following are some interesting snippets from various publications.  The one entitled “The Old Family Toddy” tells of an old Kentucky tradition of passing around the “toddy glass” among friends and family.  Must have been one really big toddy glass.

wp-1541164113761.jpgAnd the “History of Leominster” article mentions that young people setting up housekeeping should have “two decanters, a dozen tumblers and at least as many toddy sticks”. These people were serious about toddies!




The page above is from the 1884 Vajen & New Hardware Catalog, and shows an example of “Muddler, or Toddy Sticks”.

And this brings us to the tavern setting.


The image above is from the 1900 “Stagecoach and Tavern Days” by Alice Morse Earle. It shows the toddy stick in the glass and also shows what is called a “loggerhead” on the table next to it.


The image above was taken from “Iron and Brass Implements of the English House” by J. Seymour Lindsay. These loggerheads, toddy irons or mullers as they are sometimes called, were how the tavern toddy was heated. You would have your mug or glass filled with water, sugar and liquor and the hot loggerhead would be inserted in the glass, producing pronounced steam and sizzle.  I believe each toddy would be served with a toddy stick. The sizzling and hissing of the loggerhead and clinking of the toddy stick filled taverns with their own peculiar form of music.

It should be noted that loggerheads were sometimes also used at home as well, not just in the tavern setting.  Paul Revere is said to heat his toddies at home using a loggerhead.

So there you have it.  If you are a serious barware / bar tool collector you certainly have many items to be on the lookout for: toddy strainers, toddy bowls, toddy ladles, toddy lifters, toddy kettles, toddy mugs / glasses, toddy spoons, toddy sticks, toddy irons / loggerheads.  Let me see, did I forget anything?

Posted in hot toddy, loggerhead, toddy bowl, toddy kettle, toddy ladle, toddy lifter, toddy plate, toddy stick, toddy strainer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Napier Novelties,Gimmicks and Gadgets

When I came across the following utensils with the “Napier” mark, I thought they were lovely… and unusual.


The pieces are only just over 6 inches in length and the bowls are 3 inches wide.  What were they?  Salad servers, a dessert or ice cream serving set?  What?  The “fork” tips are very sharp. So, being the snoopy sort of person I am, I got on the internet and searched, sure that I would find an answer.  But I didn’t.  I still do not know what the intended use was.  But I did find some very creative Napier cocktail related ads.

Napier started out in North Attleboro, MA in 1878 under the name of the E. A. Blisss Co. manufacturing gilt men’s watch chains. The company moved to Meriden, CT in 1890. During World War I (and again during World War II) they ceased jewelry production and produced war related items such as medals and medallions. James Napier became president of the company in 1920 and the company was renamed The Napier-Bliss Co. In 1922 the company name was changed to The Napier Company.    The company was bought by Victoria & Company in 1999, and is still manufacturing jewelry today under the umbrella of Jones Apparel Group.

Although most people think of jewelry when it comes to Napier, the company was very successful with their line of barware, much of which is highly collectible today.  They manufactured “The Penguin” cocktail shaker, which was designed by Emil A. Schuelke and patented in 1936. This figural shaker is rare and very desirable as is their “Dial A Drink” shaker.  But, for the purposes of this post, I’m going to concentrate on their cocktail related novelty line.


Shown above is the earliest Napier novelty ad I could find.  It came from the November 1922 issue of Vanity Fair.  Remember, the company was renamed The Napier Company in 1922 and this must have been one of their earliest ads.  Actually, most ads with Napier products were retailer ads.  I didn’t find that The Napier Company advertised themselves to any great degree.  The ad above ran during prohibition. They show both New York and Paris addesses and call their flask a “flasque”. The top becomes a collapsible drinking cup. Creative, no?


There is quite a lag between the 1922 ad and the 1931 ad shown above for the three-in-one spoon. Again, this is still during prohibition and there is no mention of cocktails in the wording. They state “it is good for cooking as well as for preparing all kinds of beverages.” I believe Napier manufactured a sterling version of this spoon without the bottle opener.  The Meriden Daily Journal, December 21, 1931 edition, ran an article about local pilots being given Napier “silver jigger spoons”.  I’ve seen both versions of these spoons with “Patent Applied” or “Patent Pending” on them. I have never seen one with an actual patent number. It is interesting to note that a patent for a similar spoon was issued to J. A. Lavin on May 5, 1931.


Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933 and the words “jigger” and “cork screw” were being used in ads clearly related to alcoholic beverages. The Red Cap Caddy ad above dates to 1940 and this gadget was patented on April 11, 1939.  I’ve never actually seen one of these; they must be very rare.


The 1947 Pittsburgh Post Gazette ad above shows the Napier “silver-plated valve jigger on stand” which “automatically releases liquid”.


The ad shown above is from a 1948 issue of the Milwaukee Journal.  It offers two sizes of jiggers, the “jumbo jigger” and the “horse-and-pony”.  I have a jumbo jigger for sale at my Etsy shop:


This jigger is truly jumbo in size.  It is a double jigger with a two ounce measure on one end and a four ounce jigger on the other.  It is over 4 inches tall and has a good weight to it.


The Shreve Crump & Low ad above is from a November 1952 Boston Symphony Orchestra Programme.  Extremely creative design and only 4 inches tall.


The ad above is from a September 1953 issue of the Milwaukee Journal.  The silver gavel like double jigger is for use by the “Chairman of the bar”.


I think the personal shaker shown above might be my favorite design. The base has a built in strainer and the top can be used as a drinking cup (that doubles as a cigarette urn as it says in the ad…yuck!).  It holds only four ounces.  But where do you get the teeny weeny ice cubes needed for this shaker?  The ad came from an October 1953 issue of the Wilmington Sunday Star.


The ad above is from a February 1954 issue of the Joplin Globe.  The graduated measuring cup shown is a classic design….very popular and reproduced today by another company.


And talk about popular!  The “bottoms up” jigger shown in the 1958 Meriden Journal ad above has to be one of the most popular Napier products.


The article shown above starts out by discussing a Napier musical baby cup and segues into a musical jigger that plays “How Dry I Am”. For the “man who has everything”.   Taken from an October 1959 Meriden Journal.


Taken from an October 1961 St. Petersburg Times issue, the ad above shows raised finger jiggers signifying one or two ounce capacity.



The “cat-nip jigger” shown above is another one of my favorites.  I believe it also came in a chubbier “fat cat” version. Taken from a July 1963 Ocala Star Banner.

So lest we not forget, this post started with mystery serving utensils (which are available at my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenofsienna).  If anyone has any suggestions as to what these might be used for, I’m all ears.

Update: Those mystery utensils have sold.


Two of the three Jigger spoons shown above are Napier. One is a silverplated three in one jigger, spoon and bottle opener. The other is a sterling jigger and muddler. Both available at my Etsy shop.






Posted in bar, bar spoon, bar tool, bar ware, barware, cocktail, cocktail shaker, jigger, mid century, Napier Bottoms Up Jigger, Napier Co., Prohibition, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tipping Jiggers

A while back I came across a tipping jigger marked “Industria Argentina”.  I began to research and found that there were quite a number of this style jigger produced in South America.  Then, I found a sterling silver jigger produced by Webster Co. See the following photo:


I began to wonder if there were any patents issued in the United States for a tipping jigger. I knew Napier produced the famous “Bottoms Up” jigger and Tiffany produced their own versions of a tipping jigger.  But did anyone actually patent this design?

The earliest patent I could find for this type of jigger was Patent No. 115,831, dated July 25, 1939, granted to H. B. Kaempf.  He called his design a “measuring container”.


Kaempf’s patent was not assigned to anyone and the patent had a 14 year term. The patent description really didn’t say much:


In the August 1946 Plastics Magazine, the following ad appeared.  It seems that Kaempf is looking to sell his patent rights (due to expire in 1953), molds and his established business.  Also interesting is that he is calling this jigger the “Akret Jigger”. Where this name came from, I have no idea.



Whether Kaempf actually sold his patent rights and business, I do not know. In 1939 Kaempf had been offering his jigger in two sizes, one ounce (which he called the “Hostess” jigger, offered in silverplate) and one and a half ounces (which he called the “Host” jigger, which he offered in both silverplate and sterling).  This photo shows the “Host” jigger (the patent number is stamped underneath each handle):


The following ad comes from the July 1947 Popular Science Magazine.  It is showing a plastic jigger, looking very much like the jigger shown above.  It refers only to Akret Products with no mention of Kaempf.  Perhaps he was successful in selling his business and patent rights.


Kaempf also offered a Master Host jigger, which was a 2 ounce jigger shown above.


A month after Kaempf’s patent expired, the following patent application was filed:


It wasn’t approved for many months and has a patent date of April 13, 1954.


Although the jigger image changed slightly, the description write up is pretty much the same as Kaempf’s.  Note that this John T. Jackson patent was assigned to Old King Cole Displays, Inc. I can find no example of an Old King Cole jigger.


In 1959 Frederick W. Rettenmeyer obtained a patent for a “liquid measuring cup” and this patent was assigned to The Napier Company of Meriden, CT.


This Napier jigger was known as the “bottoms up jigger” and was sold for close to fifty years (a good run)! It is highly collectible even today.


The sterling silver “Tipsy” jigger shown in the above ad from a June 1963 “Spotlight” publication appears to be the Tiffany & Co. jigger shown below:


In 1960, Tiffany advertised the “Tipsy” jigger in sterling as “a practical bar accessory that fits over the glass and tips to empty”.


The photo above shows a form of tipping jigger, known as a ” trip jigger”. It is marked “Irvinware Inc. Patent No. 3527270, Made in West Germany 18/8 Stainless Steel”.

This Patent No. 3527270 for “Liquid Measure With Tipping Cup”, dated September 8, 1970, was obtained by Karl-Heinz Weil. The intent is that pouring liquid into the jigger would trip the mechanism so that it would tip over and pour the liquid into the cup below. There is no indication of how much liquid would trigger the cup to tip and there are no measuring marks on the cup. I tried pouring in one ounce and it tipped before I was finished pouring. Perhaps half an ounce? I really don’t think this jigger is an accurate measure but more of a novelty.


The above shown December 1978 Bailey Banks & Biddle ad shows yet another version of the tipping jigger.

The Kaempf, Webster, Irvinware and Tiffany jiggers are all available at my queenofsienna Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenofsienna

Posted in Akret, H. B Kaempf, jigger, Napier Bottoms Up Jigger, roll over jigger, Tiffany Jigger, tipping jigger, tipsy jigger, Uncategorized, Webster Sterling jigger | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments