Abe SIlverman's Antique Silver Shop
Porcelain China Egg Coddlers

Abe Antique Silver Shop offers fine porcelain & fine bone china, pottery and ceramic Egg Coddlers / Egg Coddles from Royal Worcester and other fine porcelain and china makers and porcelain egg cups.
Egg Coddler, Egg Coddle, Egg Caddies, Egg Cups, Egg Warmers, Egg Servers & Egg Cups

Royal Worcester produced four size of egg coddlers - in increasing capacity.

The Standard Size was designed to prepare one egg. It nominally measures 3½ inches from the base to the top of the lifting ring, but there can be considerable variation - especially in the earlier coddlers, such as those with Type 1 backstamps. With the lid off, the coddler body stands nominally 2½ inches tall. This size can also be used to warm up an individual serving of baby food. RW no longer produces this size of coddler.

The King Size was designed to prepare two eggs. It measures 4 inches from the base to the top of the lifting ring. With the lid off, the coddler body stands 3¼ inches tall. It is approximately 2½ inches in diameter. This is currently the only size of coddler that RW produces.

The Jumbo Size was designed to replace the maxime (see below), intended for a small individual meal, such as a small stew. It measures 4¾ inches from the base to the top of the lifting ring. With the lid off, the coddler body stands 35/8 inches tall - the same height as the maxime. It is approximately 3¼ inches in diameter, about a half inch narrower than the maxime. RW no longer produces this size of coddler.

The Maxime Size was designed to prepare a small individual meal, such as a small stew. It measures 5¼ inches from the base to the top of the lifting ring. With the lid off, the coddler body stands 35/8 inches tall. It is approximately 3¾ inches in diameter. Royal Worcester no longer produces this size of coddler.

An egg coddler is a porcelain or pottery cup with a lid that is used to prepare a dish called, appropriately enough, coddled eggs.  Coddled eggs are very much like poached eggs, except that the egg is cooked inside the coddler.  The egg(s) are broken into the buttered coddler, and seasonings are added, if desired.  The coddler is then closed with the lid and partially immersed in boiling water for a few minutes. When the eggs are cooked to the desired firmness, the coddler is lifted from the boiling water, the lid removed, and breakfast is served, in a lovely decorated dish.

Egg coddlers are often painted or glazed with a design.  There are many different patterns and designs, which makes them highly suitable as practical gifts for the kitchen, or for addition to the china collection.  Egg coddlers are also very desirable as collectibles.

Egg coddlers have a lid, made out of metal, or porcelain, that is attached to the top of the coddler before cooking.  Many coddlers are manufactured with a set of screw-on threads at the lip of the coddler.  The threads on the coddler are often either a metal, such as stainless steel, or a plastic, such as white nylon.  The lid will have a complementary screw thread that holds it to the coddler during cooking.

The King Size was designed to prepare two eggs. It measures 4 inches from the base to the top of the lifting ring. With the lid off, the coddler body stands 3¼ inches tall. It is approximately 2½ inches in diameter. This is currently the only size of coddler that RW produces.

Purists may call these other objects egg caddies, egg cups, egg warmers, or egg servers instead of egg coddlers. Quite frankly, I don't believe it's necessary to be so pedantic. These objects were all designed to handle eggs ... to cook them or present them for consumption.

Dating Royal Worcester Egg Coddle / Coddlers

The marks on the underside of egg coddlers may be difficult to date, however, they have changed very little over the years because of the small size of the coddler base.  The following are the accepted marking dates in the trade:

1890 - 1902 - Early Grainger egg coddlers are marked with a Grainger shield mark and a year letter (A=1891 to L=1902).

1902 - 1930 - Royal Worcester egg coddlers made between c.1902 and 1930 have a Royal Worcester mark and the word Crownware printed in a ribbon or the words 'Royal Worcester Vitreous'.

1931 - 1950 - From 1931 the marking on egg coddlers is usually the words Royal Worcester England printed in straight lines in green.

1950 - 1983 - From the 1950's a scrolled W inside a circle was used with the words Royal Worcester Porcelain, Made in England in black.  From 1983 a standard Royal Worcester mark in black was used on all egg coddlers.

1991 - present -  in addition to the factory mark you will find two pairs of small numbers in gray or white on the base of the egg coddlers.  The first pair is the printers number, the second pair of numbers indicate the year of manufacture. (ie. 55-97 = 1997, 46-01= 2001)

Care of your Fine China - Do not use your dishwasher with fine china, dishes with crazed glaze, lacquered metal, wooden wares or bone or ivory or wood handled serving pieces. These pieces should never be cleaned in a dishwasher.  The hot water and detergent will damage them.  Hand wash using a mild dish soap and dry with a towel.

Pots de Creme refers to both the custard dessert as well as the small lidded pots this dessert is served in. Pots de creme, or pot-au-creme translates from French to English as "pot of cream".  The French do not have a word for "custard" the dish is simply referred to as "creme". The pots may also be referred to as "petits pots".  

The pots are typically made of porcelain and hold approximately 3 ounces of custard although this will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.   Most cups we have seen have a single tiny handle.  The lids are normally adorned with a finial on top such as an acorn, a bird, a berry, or a piece of fruit. The designs vary from smooth, simple, white, devoid of any additional decoration to ornate gilded or floral patterns. A popular 20th century design for the cups was white porcelain with gold trim reminiscent of the simple gold and white Haviland Limoges pieces.

The earliest examples of these little lidded cups date back to France, St. Cloud porcelain factory, 1730.  According to Clare Le Corbeiller, decorative arts curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art "in the eighteenth century this shape cup was called pots à jus".  It's original purpose was to serve a hot bouillon made from roasted meat juices. The lid insured the broth was served "hot"  and the little handle enabled the guest to sip directly from the cup.  The cup was not used or referred to as a pot a creme until the 19th century nor was it used as a dessert cup until that time. 

The cups were later called by various names depending on the country of origin including Custard Cups, Jelly Cups, and Ice Cups to name a few.  These little porcelain lidded cups have been manufactured from the 1700's to the early 1900's by such companies of Sevres, Worcester, Wedgwood, Meissen, Dresden, and Limoges.  Most of the major European porcelain manufactures have produced pot de creme cups sometime in the past.  It appears (but is not confirmed) that the pot de creme cup is in fact a relative of the Spanish (and later Mexican) chocolate cup.  http://www.potsdecreme.com

Porcelain China Egg Cups:  The earliest images of egg cups appear in a Turkish mosaic dating from 3AD and examples were found among the ruins of Pompeii from 79AD. The date of the advent of the egg cup in England is uncertain but we do know that Elizabethans roasted eggs.  Throughout the 18th and into the 19th century pottery and porcelain egg cups featured as only part of a dinner service and would have been of matching style, color and pattern.  During the 19th century, egg cups were produced in their own right as individual pieces of chinaware.

The double egg cup became very popular in 1930’s, these being used to eat a boiled egg in the small end as usual and the larger end is for the egg to be chopped, mixed with salt and pepper and eaten with a spoon or fork.

The egg cup has to be one of the world's simplest and successful ideas produced in countless 1000's but really has become 'collectable' during the past few decades. Collecting egg cups is called "pocillovy."
Vintage Fine Porcelain China DOUBLE EGG CODDLE EGG CODDLER Grape Pattern JAPAN

Vintage Fine Porcelain China DOUBLE EGG CODDLE EGG CODDLER Grape Pattern JAPAN
Vintage DOUBLE EGG CODDLER EGG CODDLE Grape Pattern Fine Porcelain China JAPAN

Vintage DOUBLE EGG CODDLER EGG CODDLE Grape Pattern Fine Porcelain China JAPAN
Vintage LORRIE Porcelain China Egg Coddler / Egg Coddle CHEERFUL YELLOW CHICK / King Size

Vintage LORRIE Porcelain China Egg Coddler / Egg Coddle CHEERFUL YELLOW CHICK / King Size
Vintage Porcelain China Egg Coddler Egg Coddle Colorful & Cheerful YELLOW BIRD CHICK IN NEST / LORRIE / King Size

Vintage Porcelain China Egg Coddler Egg Coddle Colorful & Cheerful YELLOW BIRD CHICK IN NEST / LORRIE / King Size
Vintage English Porcelain China DOUBLE EGG CUP Floral Rose

Vintage English Porcelain China DOUBLE EGG CUP Floral Rose
Vintage ADAMS China Co. of England Earthenware China DOUBLE EGG CUP Floral Pink Roses METZ

Vintage ADAMS China Co. of England Earthenware China DOUBLE EGG CUP Floral Pink Roses METZ
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