Hand Made in Britain
Its unveiling in Britain proved very popular, with news of its existence spreading quickly amongst all social classes.
Manufacturers and craftsmen in particular quickly ascertained the potential for re-interpretation and new manifestations of the form began to appear across the country.
Its popularity led Industrial manufacturers to ship them to new markets, especially America where pieces by such manufacturers were highly prized and widely imitated.
Their industrial production has declined significantly since their heyday during Queen Victoria’s reign, in alignment with changing fashions and social norms.
A product of Victorian ingenuity which is accredited to British Potter Harvey Adams (born in 1835) in the 1860s, the moustache cup is a drinking vessel designed to eliminate the problems hot tea wreaks on a drinker’s moustache.
Facial hair was exceptionally fashionable amongst men of this era who took great pride in their appearance, and subsequently devised ways to maintain their moustaches.
One such approach was the application of wax to the bristles, which kept them stiffened in place and helped ensure they were never unkempt: until tea time that is. The steaming liquid contents and stains associated with tea wrought havoc on a man’s appearance and it just wouldn’t do.
The addition of a semi-circular ledge (with a small
opening) across the diameter of a cup proved the
best means of diverting the tea away from the
moustache, and into the recipients mouth,
with the minimum of fuss.
"Mustache Cups, Timeless Victorian Treasures,"
Schiffer Publications, 1999. By Peck & Erardi.
Thankfully, since then there’s been a shift in attitudes towards moustaches (especially in Movember!) and men of today have never had more choice when it comes to choosing which ‘tache to cultivate.