ANTIQUE SILVER CAFE AU LAIT POTS
Antique Silver cafe au lait pots Description:
A pair of coffee style serving pots for pouring hot milk and coffee (cafe-au-lait) at the table.
Antique Silver cafe au lait pots History:
There have been examples from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but these are extremely rare, and were normally made for the Continental market where the drinking of cafe-au-lait started earlier. In England, cafe-au-lait did not really catch on until about 1840 so the vast majority were made in the Victorian period and 20th century, and they are still being made today.
Antique Silver cafe au lait pots Design:
The basic shape of cafe-au-lait pots mirrored the styles prevalent in coffee pots. However, many of them were made with the handles at ninety degrees to the spouts, which enabled the pouring of both the hot milk and coffee simultaneously.
Antique Silver cafe au lait pots Collectors Note:
The hallmark on the lid should match the main hallmark on the body, and if they have silver handles, then they should be part marked as well. Check for repairs on the hinges, and where the handles and spouts are attached to the bodies. Many pots had crests which were later erased so check for thin spots on the body or on any cartouches. It is very important to make sure that they are a true pair by comparing the hallmarks on both. The very early examples are extremely rare and command high prices.