Victorian Mustache Cup
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Hotel Manners
Travelling with Equipment
You and Your Agent
The Sitting Musician
Open Mic - friend or foe
The Mustache Cup
Stage Lighting
Vintage Instruments
Creating a Press Kit

     The mustache was the well groomed dashing gentleman’s accessory during the Victorian era. The popularity of facial hair was a masculine must. Often mustache wax was applied to the mustache to keep the hairs perfectly in place and to keep it stiff. However, when a steaming hot drink was brought into the vicinity of the mouth, the steam would melt the wax and the wax sometimes was transferred to the cup, followed by an un-groomed mustache that had gone all willy-nilly leaving its owner in a rather embarrassing state. Another problem was that some teas and coffees would stain the mustache.

     The wonderful mustache cup was created by British potter Harvey Adams in the 1860s. This was a drinking cup with a semicircular ledge inside (referred to as the “mustache guard”) that had a half moon opening to allow the beverage to slip through. The ledge conveniently held the consumer’s mustache away from the liquid, and kept it dry while the drink was enjoyed. This protected the style, wax, and natural hue. The popularity of these cups spread quickly.
mustache wax
Victorian mustace cup replicas

These are commercial reproductions of the once common mustache cup.
Notice the centre one is for a left handed gentleman.

    In no time at all, all the potters and ceramic suppliers were making mustache cups. Most were produced in England by famous manufacturers such as Royal Crown Derby, Imari, Meissen, Royal Bayreuth, and Limoges. The invention soon spread to America but, due to the popularity of British ceramic makers, many of the American made cups were named to sound like they had come from England.
By 1930 mustache cups, and the once loved hairy appendage, had begun to lose their popularity. We find that today a number of enthusiastic collectors covet the elegant Victorian mustache cup.

Edwardian mustache cup

My collection includes this original Victorian gentleman's cup, with the (guard less) matching lady's cup.
Note the Irish emblems and the exquisite detail on the guard.

Mustache cup with matching lady's cup

Collector's swoon at the view of this matching set.


Professor Douglas Fraser


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