Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shaving Mug or Mustache Cup

This mug was a find at a local thrift store recently.  I knew that it would be perfect for my future son-in-laws firefighter collection.


It is a bit confusing when comparing the two.  The mustache cup was invented in the early 1800’s because most men in Victorian times had a mustache.  They were waxed and curled and could be quite elaborate.  The problem arose when their mustache would hang into the beverage cup and drip wax into their drink.  The ladies did not find a dripping mustache to be very attractive, and it was certainly not clothing friendly.

The solution was to put a ledge or guard in the cup.


Many beautiful cups and saucers have a mustache guard, but this sturdy mug was used for shaving.  The holes let the soapy water drain back into the mug.  Shaving with a straight razor must have been difficult (and dangerous), so most gentlemen visited the barber shop to get a shave.  Many of them had their own shaving mug which they left at the shop for their exclusive use. 

Some were occupational mugs, like this firemen mug.  Many had the owners name or monogram.


So, I’ll still be on the lookout for a pretty mustache cup and saucer, but I’m glad that I found this shaving mug and learned a little bit about the difference between a shaving mug and a mustache cup.

I’ve only seen one mug with this particular scene online, but it was a slightly different shape.  This one may have been made in Japan.  There are no markings on the bottom.  If you know any more, I’d love to hear it.


Angela McRae said...

What a great thrifted find, especially for a firefighter collection. Love it!

Antiques And Teacups said...

Perfect for a firefighter! People often confuse the 2 types of mugs. That was a great find and I'm sure will be a really special gift!

Marlena said...

I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that mutache cups were generally bigger around, so as to accomadate those fabulous fur fashions! What a nifty find!

Marilyn said...

What a nice find. I found a shaving mug many years ago that still sits in our bathroom with my husbands shaving brush resting on it. It doesn't have the nice manly picture though, but pink flowers.

Theresa said...

Made by viking japan. I have one that still has the label.

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