We are excited to announce for the first time we will have a Pocillovist at the fair.
Pocillovy is the name given to the hobby of collecting egg cups and if you collect them you are a Pocillovist. Michelle and David, husband and wife team known as Eggcuppery are collectors, turned sellers and will be presenting antique and vintage egg cups ranging from Victorian ceramic and art deco, through to plastic 60s and 70s egg cups featuring numerous characters from Andy Pandy to vintage Spiderman. They have more than 2000 in their collection and will be bringing a selection that includes 1960s wooden European cups, Japanese sets and makers such as Mason’s, Spode, Royal Doulton, Mintons and Carlton Ware.
Michelle, what made you start collecting egg cups?
It really just evolved like a Gothic cathedral. My Great Auntie Bert – that’s not a misprint, I’ve got a Great Auntie Bert – gave my Mum an egg coddler when I was born. And if you don’t know what an egg coddler is, you need to come to our stall. Then my Mum’s neighbour, Agnes, gave my Mum an egg cup for me when I was little. And really, what else would you give a baby ? Then another older neighbour friend, Ella, gave my Mum a collection of egg cups and thimbles to hold in trust for me until I wanted them. Mum still has all the thimbles at home. So that’s how it began. I was on the internet looking for teacups to make candles in for birthday presents and on a complete whim thought it would be funny if I replied to an advert for 1,400 egg cups for sale. My husband and I then drove for 6 hours to go and see them and we both kind of fell in love with them. Although, as he keeps insisting, we’re not so in love with them that we don’t want to sell lots of them. Eggcuppery was born…
How long have you been collecting egg cups?
Well, off and on for 34 years.
How old is your oldest egg cup?
Probably about 1830, but some of the really old ones are difficult to date. The Romans invented them. Imagine being in pre-Roman times, having to eat your boiled egg without one. Crikey, life must have been tough!
Do you have any unusual or interesting stories about any of your egg cups?
We have an amazing set of three gold luster old Micky Mouse ones from a junk shop in the States that I’ve never seen anywhere else.
We have an amazing pair of pink and fawn lusterware portrait egg cups of the British generals Buller and Kitchener, made to commemorate the end of the Boer War.
I have an old one with little animal characters on it. It’s been passed down in my family, my grandmother thinks she remembers it as a child but no one knows where it came from. It’s very chipped and the images are very faint but it’s very special.
Do you know any of the history of collecting egg cups? Is there a society (like the Button Society) for collectors of egg cups?
I’ve done lots of research. The best books are by Brenda Blake and Winnie Freeman and there are some Pocillovist clubs. They’re good on facts, but no book really discusses the psychology of what’s delightful about egg cups. I think egg cups are a sensual and intimate thing. They represent childhood, comfort food, even love. Fertility, of course. No other piece of tableware does that. We have people coming to the stall and almost crying. I doubt they’d do that for old electric toasters. So egg cups are the best.
You probably have your own personal collection which you won’t sell. What is the most you have paid for an egg cup and why?
There are some egg cups I wouldn’t part with but not because they’re valuable. It’s because they represent home or the past. The neuralgia of nostalgia. As for the valuable, beautiful stuff – the Clarice Cliffs, Mintons, Majolicas, and so on – it’s all lovely but I don’t suddenly see one of them and think, “right, that one’s for me”. The only ones I wouldn’t sell are odd things – a chipped little 70s bucket egg cup with Holly Hobby on it – and that’s for all the same reasons why when we do the stall people walk past, stop suddenly, turn round, and make a beeline for the most unprepossessing egg cup you can imagine, with their faces full of delight.
Love Vintage comments:
To contact Eggcuppery email firstname.lastname@example.org (their website will be up and running soon)
According to The Joy of Collecting Egg Cups written by Javad Hashemi-Tafreshi the earliest surviving egg cup was found in the ruins of Pompeii. Pompeii was partially destroyed and buried when Mt Vesuvius erupted in AD79. The egg cup is on show at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
An interesting website written by Ad and Riek Koetsier on collecting egg cups can be found at Inleidingengels They have amassed over 22,500 egg cups and offer price guides, detailed information and pictures of various collections.