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.