Pewter Egg Cup (Pewter Egg Holder)
Do you know that there is a hobby called pocillovy? It means collecting egg cups, from the Latin words pocillum (small cup) and ovi (egg).
What is an egg cup?
It's basically a container, shaped to hold an egg in a vertical position with the smaller side up. About a quarter to one half of the egg will normally be held inside the cup and the rest exposed.
By the way, it is to hold half-boiled or hard-boiled eggs, in case you're wondering. An egg cup (or egg holder) is within the tableware family and is more popular in Europe than anywhere else. It is quite uncommon in America.
You can see a pewter egg cup above. This is a pretty uncommon design. Common egg cup designs have the cups raised on a base called 'footies'. Without the 'foot', the cup becomes a 'bucket'. The one you see in the picture is of the bucket type.
The pewter egg cup shown is already more than 20 years old. Pits have already formed, as you can see easily. I wasn't sure what this item was when I first saw it and the seller didn't know either. I had to do some researching before I figured out that this was an egg cup.
It certainly didn't look like most egg cups I've seen. Here's a picture of it holding an egg.
How do you use a pewter egg cup (or any egg cup)?
First, put the large end of the egg inside the cup. Then use a table knife to carefully break the shell slightly below the tip of the smaller end. Make sure you use your other hand to hold the egg and cup when you attack the shell.
Once the shell is broken, work the knife into the egg carefully. It's a bit like trying to slice off the top of the egg, which is made difficult by the shell. So work it slowly through the shell until the knife almost reaches the other side of the egg.
When this happens, prise open the top and flip it off. Remove any loose pieces of broken shell and you're ready to enjoy the egg after all the hard work. Oh, use a spoon to scoop the contents.
It will take some practice before this can be done neatly. Different eggs have different shell thicknesses as well, so adjustments in technique is definitely needed. Different cup designs will require some changes too.
I guess there isn't a perfect technique. You'll have to improvise until you're comfortable with it.
Personally I seldom use it. I would just break the egg and pour the contents into a small bowl. Sprinkle in some pepper, add a few drops of soy sauce, and I'm ready to savour that delicious, yolky stuff.
As for pewter egg cups, there are many wonderful designs available out there. Many are great collectibles. So even if you don't fancy eating an egg out of its shell, you can still enjoy a beautiful piece of pewterware.
So instead of finding out from the pewterer, which is the easy way out, I'm going to have a fun, simple survey. Do take part. Your response would be appreciated.
By the way, I've had people telling me that this is actually a pewter ashtray. And frankly, I do still have some doubts that this is a pewter egg cup.
You can also check out other pewter tableware on this site.
Pewter Plate and Charger Plate
Pewter Chopstick Rest
Pewter Salt and Pepper Shakers
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