Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tales of the Cocktail & the Vintage Bar Ware Collectors Symposium

As many people know or may just be finding out the 7th Annual Tales of the Cocktail will be held in New Orleans from July 8th thru the 12th. I am honored to again be a part of this event. I will be on the panel of the Vintage Bar Ware Collectors Symposium. Hosting this event will be Stephen Visakay, author of Vintage Bar Ware, and along with Mark Bigler of, we are going to talk about cocktail shakers, bar ware and of coarse cocktails. There will also be some some the top collectors from around the world. I am trying to take this event to new levels this year so I'm asking for your help. I am taking a pole on the top 10 collectible cocktail shakers. The ones below may not THE top 10 but it will give you a good start. If this all works out these shakers will be at our event. Yes, live and in person. To see, touch & hold (Maybe). The owners will be there to talk to about them also. So let the voting begin. Just leave a comment with your list...Thanks!

Above left is the Famous Manhattan set designed by Norman Bel Geddes and produced by Revere Copper & Brass Co. 1936.

Above on the right is the Golf Bag shaker from Derby Silver Plate Co. a division of International Silver. It was produced from 1925 to 1930.

Everyone should know this well dressed little fellow. The Penguin shaker by Napier from the 1930's.

On the right...Do you think it's time for a cocktail? Well I do if your shaking with the Maxwell Phillips Hourglass shaker made in the 1930's.

On the left is one of my favorite shakers. It is the Bubble set made by the Faber Co. in the 1930's unique & deco all in one.

On the right are the Zeppelins that are probably modeled after the Graf zeppelin. Made in the 1930's in Germany.

On the left is the Master In-Color shaker from England. Its Bakelite body makes it unique with silver trim and a rotating recipe top. It was made in the 1930s.

On the right is the wonderful "Shake a Leg" shaker made by West Virgina Specialty Glass Co. in 1937.

On the left is the 1938 Sheridan Empire Shaker made by the Revere copper & Brass Co. It is the pinnacle of art deco.

And last but not least is the beautiful Wallace Brothers silver plated rooster from 1928.

Well what is a Cocktail anyway?

I hope to get a lot of responses so I know who to bring to this party. That being Tales of the Cocktail.

See Ya there...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Pink Elephant

The other day I got to wondering, what was the history of the Pink Elephant. This being an appropriate thought just following New Years. As a Bar Ware and Shaker collector I see this image everywhere and just got to wondering.
I started my research with Wikipedia and here is what they had to say: "Seeing pink elephants", a euphemism for drunken hallucination. You can follow the link above to Wikipedia.
There's something about an Elephant, but it's unclear why pink elephants have been associated with drinking for a number of decades, but they are one of the more consistent images. One reference to seeing pink elephants and pink spiders as a drinking hallucination, attributed to the 1890s. In 1913 Jack London wrote in "John Barleycorn": "There are, broadly speaking, two types of drinkers. There is the man whom we all know, stupid, unimaginative, whose brain is bitten numbly by numb maggots; who walks generously with wide-spread, tentative legs, falls frequently in the gutter, and who sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants. He is the type that gives rise to the jokes in funny papers."
For some reason, pink elephants were the most popular image for drinking during several decades, beginning in the '40s. Actually as you see above it started much earlier.
This image has sprung up all over the place in its history with Cocktail Shakers, Napkins, Coasters, Trays or just about anything else you can associate with drinking. There are even Pink Elephant Jokes.Guy Lombardo had a popular hit with the song in 1932 "Pink Elephants" composed by Mort Dixon and Harry Woods.
Pink elephants on the table.
Pink elephants on the chair.
Pink elephants on the ceiling,
Pink elephants ev'rywhere.
Now I'm through making whoopee, I raised my hand and swore

That I never intend to see those pink elephants any more.

Below Are the 1040s Dancing Pink Elephant (Left) Cocktail Shaker set and the 1950s recipe version (Right). Both of these were made by Hazel Atlas. Also pictured is a little Pink Elephant shot glass & a canape tray.
There is even a modern Version, pictured below. It is pretty easy to to find this shaker while the vintage shakers above are a little harder to find. While doing the research for this post I found numerous places to buy both. Check out This is Mark Bigler's website of shakers he has for sale. He has a couple of Pink Elephant pieces for sale.
Then everyone should remember The Pink Elephant Dance from Dumbo. Check it out on Youtube.
While you're watching the video you might want to sip a Pink Elephant Cocktail:
1/4 oc of Vodka
3/4 oc of Galliano
3/4 oc of Creme de Noyaux (Or Almond liqueur)
3/4 oc of Orange Juice
3/4 oc of Cream
Dash of Grenadine

Stir in mixing glass half filled with cracked ice and strain into 5 ounce champagne glass.

Well I guess that's about it for now on Pink Elephants. As you can see "They are Ev'rywehere"