Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What did you bring me?

I can remember asking that of a relative who had been away when I was a kid.  The Victorians instituted a lovely practice in response to that request.  They are known as 'present cups' or 'souvenir cups'.  Not to be confused with shaving cups, these are usually smaller and often more fussily decorated. 
One says simply "A Present" and the other includes the location where it was purchased. 

Cups came with a variety of messages and in a plethora of glass and china shapes and sizes.  Even some in metals, though I've never seen a sterling one.  Here's a little custard glass one from Coney Island.  The custard glass ones have a double value standard.  The glass and the utility.  

How about a pretty little ruby glass mug from Niagara Falls?  Ruby glass both pure and flashed was big time in the souvenir business. 


Cups with saucers were a part of it all.  So, here we have another one that qualifies value-wise on two fronts.  Either a souvenir cup collector or a demitasse collector might favor this one.  

 This next one is the stuff of my "present cup" dreams.  

Isn't it lovely?  I'm especially fond of black and white.  My most favorite cup is pure white with PRESENT in black outlined with gold.  As with most antique china, a little gold trim adds value. 

Present cups make great additions to Christmas décor.  Add a few peppermint sticks, a sprig of greenery or plop in a bottle brush tree.  Start your collection now and have bases for your bottle brush forest by Christmas 2014.

Messages varied.  Sweetheart.  Remembrance.  A souvenir from.....   Remember me. 

Wouldn't Remember Me make a great gift for a fellow antique collector who is moving away?  


Or, Forget Me Not.  

What a treasure!  Condition relates to cost but this bowl is so rare, I don't think the cracks would influence it much.  I consider this one a real treasure.  I long ago strayed from just cups.  I have pitchers and a couple of glasses but no bowls.  I'd sure be willing to add this one cracks and all. 

The good news about souvenir ware is that lots of folks who sell online don’t recognize the value so bargains can still be had.

Take care and keep warm.  The worst is almost over.  She said with hope and trepidation. 


1 comment:

  1. It was fun learning the history behind those cups. Good to know that they can still be found inexpensively.


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