Royal Wedding Watch: Unusual mug generates attention for UK retailer
In homage to its heritage and the legacy of the Royal Family, the company maintains a small archive of antique Royal Commemoratives that date back to the Victorian age. In the wake of Royal Wedding fever, one piece in the collection has become something of a celebrity.
The King Edward VII Moustache Mug, manufactured in 1901 by Belleek China in Northern Ireland to commemorate the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, is Church’s oldest and most unique collectible. In recent weeks, it has appeared on the BBC network and regional news stations throughout the United Kingdom. according to Church’s China managing director Stephen Church, the media attention has generated many offers to purchase the item, including inquiries from the U.S. the item is not for sale, Church adds.
Why all this excitement over a mug? Once seen as an essential household item, moustache mugs are now highly sought-after antiques. because the King Edward VII Moustache Mug is a rare Royal Commemorative, it is even more coveted by collectors.
Church explained, “when this piece was made, it was very functional. it enabled Victorian gentlemen with their huge bushy moustaches to partake of their afternoon cup of tea without ending up with soggy, stained whiskers. Now it is quite a novelty.”
Church’s China Managing Director Stephen Church shows off the coveted King Edward VII Moustache Mug, a piece that has become somewhat of a celebrity in the wake of Royal Wedding fever.
Moustache mugs have a special ledge across the top, referred to in Victorian days as a moustache guard. the moustache guard has a semicircle opening against the side of the cup, enabling a gentleman’s moustache to remain dry while he sips his tea through the opening. They were very popular in Britain and the U.S through the turn of the century but as the Roaring 20s took hold, moustaches fell out of fashion and, alas, so did the moustache mug.
Church added that Royal Wedding memorabilia items are very popular with collectors because they tend to gain value over time, particularly if they are part of a limited edition collection or they become very uncommon. Church said, “I often find myself pondering what piece from the 2011 Royal Wedding will be the stand-out in a hundred years’ time.”
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