Our antiques expert, Allan Blackburn, takes a look at pub-related antiques.
So, with the New Year’s celebrations firmly behind us and hang-overs cured, I thought this week, we’d look at collecting pub related items or Breweriana.
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Breweriana goes hand in hand with Smokerama, as there is a certain crossover for collectors in these fields. They are worth featuring this month as collectables that won’t break any of those “get healthy” resolutions you may have made!
Breweriana is becoming an immensely popular field of collectables, partly because of the wide range of promotional items which were produced by breweries to sell more of their products.
Whilst not every home has room for some of the larger items of Breweriana, such as pub signs and beer barrels, pieces like mirrors for the
area behind bars, oversize bottles, glasses, ash trays, drip trays and beer mats are avidly collected.
The collection of beer mats is a specialist field of its own called Tegestology (from the latin “tile”). First produced in Germany in the late 19th century, beer mats with advertising on did not find their way to the UK until the 1920s. Now, these pre-war coasters are very much sought after.
Names are an important element of the interest in collecting, with the Irish company, Guinness, being one of the best known. Guinness bottles labels have a particular attraction to collectors, because of the huge range of labels available.
But Guinness is not the only big name here – all the major alcoholic drinks manufacturers give us some opportunities to collect.
This Timothy Taylor Pump Cover is on sale at GB Antiques Centre for £2. Established in 1858 in Keighley, the brewery still remains in the Taylor family and is now the last independent brewery of its type left in West Yorkshire.
Much Breweriana evolved alongside now-forgotten rituals. For example, few of us today have a special Absinthe spoon for dripping water through a sugar cube into our favourite tipple.
However, familiar brands like Jack Daniel's, Bacardi, and Babycham, with its distinctive ‘Bambi’-style mascot, all have bottles, labels, and promotional materials which are widely collected.
So next time you hear something was ‘written on the back of a beer mat’, take a look at the front – it could be collectable.