What Was The Purpose Of The “Moustache Guard?”

When was the mustache cup invented?

The first mustache cup was introduced in 1830 by an English potter named Harvey Adams (maker’s mark ‘HA & Co.’). A ledge known as a “Moustache Guard” ran over the interior of the cup from rim to rim. The mustache guard had one semicircular opening against the cup’s rim, letting the user’s Moustache rest safely on the Moustache guard. The innovation of the mustache cup spread throughout Europe until most potters offered a similar product. Famous producers such as Meissen, Royal Crown Derby, Imari, Royal Bayreuth, Limoges, and others developed their own versions of this masculine tableware between 1850 and 1900.


Mustache cups were constructed of earthenware, porcelain, stoneware, tin, and silver plates and were in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from tiny demitasse cups to gigantic farmer’s cups that could carry up to a quart of liquid. Mustache cups with landscapes, hunting scenes, animals and birds, flowers, and intriguing geometric motifs were produced by potters. Portrait mustache cups were uncommon and much sought after. Many mustache cups, particularly ones made in Germany, had lustrous grounds, which were popular among Victorians.

What is a mustache cup vintage?

The scalloped and gilded edge of the largely entire cup is chipped in places. There is also no handle on it. A circle ledge or mustache “dam” just below the rim retains gold paint remains and a raised petal-like patterning. The cup is decorated with exquisite hand-painted pink and yellow flowers with faded outlining and branches. A raised petal motif, similar to that on the mustache dam, wraps around the lower heel of the mug. Another raised intricate branching motif can be found throughout the room, even going through the painted flowers. There is no maker’s mark on the cup. The Moustache Cup is a drinking cup with a semicircular ledge within and a half-moon-shaped aperture to allow liquids to pass through. The “dam” acts as a protection, keeping moustaches dry.

Who invented the moustache cup?

Being a man in the late 1800s needed an amazing mustache, but sipping tea while mustachioed was risky. The heat from the drink dissolved the mustache wax, causing the corners to drop flaccidly onto either cheek. Mustaches and their bearers were literally in hot water.


The mustache cup was the answer to this humiliating situation. It was almost probably invented by the British potter Harvey Adams in the 1870s, and it became so successful that he was able to retire within 15 years. He basically patented a hidden shelf, fashioned like a butterfly and set inside the cup, with a hole to drink through.

Are mustache cups worth anything?

They were often quite expensive, and they were manufactured in Austria, Germany, France, and, in certain cases, the United States. Your father’s collection, which includes a little more than 50 sets, is probably worth between $4,000 and $5,000.