Pottery Barn's Recipe Cocktail Shaker: $39 gift or party pleaser with a twist
The cocktail recipe shaker -- the 1950s glass vessel imprinted with directions on how to make drinks, plus cartoons and the occasional pink elephant -- is a staple of vintage barware, seemingly as common as a hangover on New Year's Day. The design above, the standout in Pottery Barn's Antique Bar product line, looks like a twist on the idea but actually has an older, more sophisticated Machine Age pedigree.
The Pottery Barn Recipe Cocktail Shaker is based on a simple operating principle: To fix the perfect old fashioned or 14 other cocktails, a budding bartender need only turn the lid to dial in the drink of choice. The ingredients appear in windows on the side of the 33.5-ounce stainless steel shaker.
According to Mark Bigler, collector, dealer and the steward of the Cocktail Shakers website, the Pottery Barn product is based on a 1930s design by Napier, a silversmith company also known for its modern costume jewelry.
Bigler, who said his 700-shaker collection is one of the world's largest, declared the design an enduring classic.
"I do have some of the Napier originals and they sell for around $250 to $300 depending on condition," he said.
Though Bigler doesn't believe that this newly mass-produced version will become a future collectible, the 10.5-inch tall Pottery Barn Recipe Cocktail Shaker is nicely priced for a personal bar tool or a holiday hostess gift. It's $39 in stores and at last check offered with free shipping for online purchasers.
-- David A. Keeps
Photo credits: Pottery Barn