Vintage 1950’s Egg Cup


When we sold our family cabin at Point Roberts,  I cleaned out the last of the remants of our family life there.  In the kitchen cupboards, among the plastic plates, I found three old egg cups – we each had one as young kids.   One was a pelican (badly chipped); another was a hen (not very interesting) and the last was a chicken (above).  I threw the first two out but kept the last as it struck me as a wonderfully evocative artifact of the 50’s. 

 Years later, I painted it and it made a good subject.  I thought I might like to paint a few of them in an arrangement and regretted throwing the other two out.  I got the idea to go to the second hand/antique stores along Main Street where I might find some others.  In one store, the owner asked me what I was browsing for.   I told him.

“Oh, there were a lot of those egg cups imported from Japan in the 50’s.   Are you a collector?” 

“No.”  I said, feeling surprised they were collectable. “I paint watercolours and I want to paint them.”

“Well, If you find some and later want to sell them, I’d be interested in buying.” 

“Oh. Okay.”

I didn’t find any in the Main Street stores and the desire to paint them has passed.   I did look recently on the internet and these vintage Japanese egg cups are worth $25-35 each.  Too bad I threw the other two out.  But these things are ephemeral by nature.  And $25-35 is really not much money – certainly not enough to buy a charming little artifact so evocative and of another era, not to mention the family connection.  The little chicken started life as a utilitarian object and is now an ‘objet d’art’.


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