Glassware Questions

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: Glassware Questions
By Petermarc on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 02:47 pm: Edit


By Chevalier on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 02:43 pm: Edit

sigh ...

I'm half-French, half-American; the American half doesn't understand the French half at all, and the French half doesn't give a damn.

By Petermarc on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 02:35 pm: Edit

because many of the french dealers don't seem to care if they sell stuff or not...

By Chevalier on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 02:12 pm: Edit

You're right, Etienne; it's easy and inexpensive to buy many types of antique absinthe spoons. And I agree with you about these bank fees and whatnot for non-European buyers -- let alone receiving the product in one piece. (Oxygenée's experiences are a case in point.) Why can't more European dealers be like Frenchman Phil and accept, say, PAYPAL? Now that eBay has swallowed up iBazar, perhaps they'll have to.

By Etienne on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 01:42 pm: Edit

I've lately been buying decent absinthe spoons, about whose age I'm confident, for between fifteen and twenty dollars. They're the more common patterns, mind you, but still.

What kills me are the great variations in shipping fees and the so-called bank fees that the French dealers seem to always want. I've paid between three and twelve to ship a single spoon.

I'm a long way from rich, but I'm managing to put together a nice, modest little collection. If you want the older items and are satisfied with the easier to find pieces, there isn't any reason you shouldn't have a few.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 12:25 pm: Edit

Absinthe paraphenalia is actually very cheap (spoons and glasses anyway) if you buy it in a French 'antique'/bric-a-brac shop. It's only when sold on the web (or presumably when it reaches the USA) that the prices tend to go sky high. Some people would call this 'market forces', I'd call it 'ripping people off'.


By Timk on Monday, November 12, 2001 - 12:56 pm: Edit

"Be cautious about appearances and 'reputations'. Just because a person is knowledgable it does not follow that the person is honest. "

By Etienne on Monday, November 12, 2001 - 05:22 am: Edit

Absinthe items, like any other collectible, bring what the market will bear. Since the inclusion of the French listings on eBay I've been buying things cheaper than I thought I ever would. It also seems to have brought down the prices on items offered domestically.

If the folks at the turn of the last century drank their absinthe out of parfait glasses with small shovels, then it doesn't bother me one bit to use the same things. But then, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

By Verawench on Sunday, November 11, 2001 - 09:30 pm: Edit

It occurs to me... with the exception of several truly gorgeous spoons and a glass or two, absinthe paraphenelia is rather plain... and usually outrageously overpriced.

I mean, I don't want to drink Jade out of something that looks like a parfait glass and stirring it up with a minature perforated shovel.

From now on, I'm using this cute little thing to louche the fairy. It's not practical but it's damn adorable and cost me three bucks:


By Crosby on Sunday, November 11, 2001 - 09:01 pm: Edit

This evening, newly listed on ebay France, there are six reproduction spoons I've never seen before. They are of pretty rare patterns. The seller is honest, stating that he was advised by a collector that they are reproductions In light of the new bounty fom the ibazar/ebay merger, it certainly gives me some doubts.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, September 09, 2001 - 07:28 am: Edit

Selling repros as the real thing is nothing new. 3 years ago people were selling repro spoons over the net and calling them antiques. In my ignorance I paid 90$ for one (not to a poster from this forum I might add). Well you live and learn and you learn to be cautious about who you trust.

Be cautious about appearances and 'reputations'. Just because a person is knowledgable it does not follow that the person is honest.


By Etienne on Sunday, September 09, 2001 - 05:04 am: Edit

Chevalier, I share your concern about forgeries. From what Mrs. Espinoza has related about the Grillagee spoon I'm not too worried about the person who purchased it. I have seen so many collectible fields ruined by being swamped with repros. I wonder how long it's going to be before we see Frenchmans spoons show up being represented as old.

Please don't misunderstand my meaning, I don't for an instant question the honesty of Phil or Steve or any of the folks selling these now. I've been in touch with most of them and they're fine people. But a couple years down the line.... I have several of the new spoons in my collection and the marks Phil puts on the handle aren't going to be that hard to remove. I guar-awn-tee that these things are going to come back to haunt us.

By Chevalier on Saturday, September 08, 2001 - 11:31 am: Edit

I know Mrs. Espinoza too. In fact, she seems to be the only seller who's auctioned very rare GENUINE spoons on eBay lately -- perhaps because (at first) she wasn't in direct contact with serious collectors, to whom she could sell directly.

I'm always concerned when someone "unknown" to me wins a very rare, genuine spoon. I worry that the winner may use the spoon to make forgeries with. I'd hoped that one of us (someone whom I trust) would win the Grillagée #6. Alas, it was not to be.

Let's hope that this "new, enthusiastic collector", American or not, isn't involved with forgers.

By Etienne on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 08:19 pm: Edit


I think not in this case. I'm in fairly close contact with the lady who sold the Grillagee #6. She tells me the collector came in person to pick it up. I believe a new collector, very enthusiastic, but one who is buying without much discrimination.

By Chevalier on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 07:19 pm: Edit

"Sad to say, many were purchased by the same individual who recently won the auction for the very rare Grillagee #6 which I believe you noticed in a previous thread."

You know, Etienne, I suspect that the "individual" you refer to is the seller himself. M. Chambergau bids up his merchandise under an alias; sometimes he oversteps himself and unintentionally wins his own auction. Then (as I mentioned in a previous post), he sends an e-mail to the second-highest bidder, offering to sell him/her an "identical" spoon.

By Etienne on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 07:12 pm: Edit

Greetings everyone;

Thank you for the warning. Yes, I am aware of this person. I first took notice of him when he auctioned a large number of round Grilles spoons (new terminology). I seem to remember a thread concerning the whole thing. He was selling under the name Chambergeau at the time. Nothing sets off bells like a "hoard" of something rare and wonderful. Sad to say, many were purchased by the same individual who recently won the auction for the very rare Grillagee #6 which I believe you noticed in a previous thread. I purchased a topette from him under his new name without at first realizing who I was dealing with. Everything went well, but for a while I was rather nervous.

My first absinthe buy was a pair of egg glasses, spoons and saucers from Roland, one of THOSE guys from you know where. The glasses and spoons were good, the saucers red bakelite, which I understood before I bid. The price was right and everything went fine. I still have to upgrade the saucers. Be aware, be aware.

BTW... I take back that statement about most of the bad stuff on eBay being obvious... SOME is.

By Petermarc on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 12:57 pm: Edit

heiko, something like that would go for maybe 150 francs in france all together...

By Petermarc on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 12:56 pm: Edit

i had the bulldog offered to me without the absinthe ad (same design no emblossing) for, i think it was, 6000francs...the guy had this pitcher before and had sold it for 8000 francs...there are also figural pitcher collectors in france who would go for this type of thing...the weird thing is that the seller uses the same story about his family having a bar where this exact pitcher was is the same line as our other 'friend' with an 'e'...
not related--i was promised some rare documents that told of pernod paying off another distiller to stop making their was in an attic, and...
a mouse ate it...'oh, did he?'...''she,' sir'....

By Heiko on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 12:12 pm: Edit

I forgot the question:

Does anybody know what would be a fair price for a set like this?

By Heiko on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 12:08 pm: Edit

btw. when looking for a suitable glass and pitcher for absinthe at a friends house recently, I found this nice Pernod pastis set in his closet. He didn't even know what it was for...
Seemed like it was from the 60's or 70's - a yellow water pitcher and two nice pastis glasses with dosage marks - all labeled "Pernod".

These are pictures I found on Ebay, the pitcher is exactly the same, the glasses are almost the same, only the dosage mark is not yellow but gold and the glasses have golden edges.

At first I thought I'm going to buy this stuff if my friend wanted to sell it to me (I guess he would), but it seems like this stuff isn't really worth anything - the bids on Ebay are around 10 bucks at most.

By Chevalier on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 11:57 am: Edit

Thank you, Oxygenée, for correcting me re. the infamous bulldog. No wonder it's rare: IMHO, it's wretched!

By Timk on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 11:42 am: Edit

I got a nice, tho chipped glass off Rolsl or whatever the fake auction guy is called - its the same as that enormous one on Justins Site only it has a chip out of the base, so sometimes these people do have genuine items, but mostly its just crap they are trying to pass off as absinthe related, Prenod 45 absinthe anyone?

By Oxygenee on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 11:19 am: Edit

The names "Chambergau" or "Absinthemania" are auction alias's of Jean Cormenier, who deliberately sells numerous fake spoons, including the faked tuna server/Ouvrages hybrid spoon. Avoid all his auctions, or at least exercise extreme care.

The seller of the Delizy et Doistau Bulldog pichet on iBazar is "Absinthomania" (with an "o")- a completely different person. I'm not vouching for him, but I do know him. The Bulldog is genuine, and a highly desirable and rare item.

Its still cheap at $700, and is likely to fetch $1000 plus.

By Wolfgang on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 11:11 am: Edit

Wouach! It`s like this ugly hand made Sebor bottle... At least there's absinthe in it.

Hand made Sebor bottle

By Heiko on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 10:58 am: Edit

Even if it's real and vintage - it's ugly!

By Chevalier on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 10:51 am: Edit

And here's the absinthe bulldog. Good, fake, or ugly?my picture

By Chevalier on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 09:53 am: Edit

Stephen, in case you haven't heard ... and if you have, forgive me:

There's a seller ("absinthemania") on eBay and (under various names) on iBazar who mostly offers "rare" absinthe spoons and related items. (At this moment, for instance, he has for sale a glazed ceramic bulldog figurine with the name of an absinthe brand on it. Highest bid so far: about $700.)

Be warned that his "rare" spoons -- and perhaps the bulldog too -- are almost certainly forgeries and fabrications. Marie-Claude Delahaye, who should know, has listed all of this seller's spoons as fakes in her latest book, "L'Absinthe: Les Cuillères". I was almost fooled into bidding for one, an "unknown" spoon with a lovely design. Then I discovered that it was a new invention, cobbled from the handle of a common "ouvragées" spoon and the trowel of an antique TUNA SERVER!

One strategy of this unscrupulous seller is to bid up the price of his own spoons, hoping that real bidders will follow suit. If his own final bid -- always somewhat high, but not astronomical -- wins, he then contacts the losing bidder, saying "Hi, I'm the seller, and by some incredible coincidence I have ANOTHER one of these rare spoons, identical to the first; it's silver and tarnished. Would you like to buy it at the price of your highest losing bid?"

I feel I can speak for Oxygenée, Petermarc and Frenchman Phil when I say: Don't fall for this. In fact, they've been saying the same thing long before me.

--Marc Chevalier

By Etienne on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 04:39 pm: Edit

Thanks for all the response! Perhaps "club" wasn't the best choice of words, I was still half asleep. Perhaps what I'm looking for is just an increased awareness of each other among those in the forum who do collect. I don't mean to make it sound cliqueish or anything. Just some way to facilitate the exchange of information among those with shared interests.

It seems that most of the posts regarding antiques involve griping about some new outrage on eBay. It's always useful to have a group consensus on the quality of what's being offered in what appears to be one of our best sources, but we can go further than that. Most of the bad stuff on eBay is so obvious it's only a threat to the most inexperienced. We're still lucky in that, in many collectible fields the fakes are so good that major museums are fooled on a regular basis.

I can think of nothing better than the involvement of Justin, and Ian, and Phil, if they're interested. Many of us have been in contact with these fine gentlemen and have benefited from their knowledge. Through business, they are able to handle a much greater amount of material than the average collector will get to see. I have seen the items that Oxygenee has put through auction recently, (his castoffs!?), I'm sure he has a museum of his own.

I'm not really sure exactly where I'm going with all this, kind of throwing ideas about, or how we can put it all into effect. Like I said, open to input!


By Petermarc on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 04:18 pm: Edit

i am always happy to share anything i find...i am not really a collector but a 'treasure hunter'...
always have been...but then again, how many of you bought the new absinthe spoons book? raise your much as i was sure that the antiques would be really popular, there never seems to be great response when things are posted...i'm sure this has alot to do with availability and price (no one wants to listen to people talk about sex for very long if they can't get some, that a good analogy? probably not, but work with me) those that are really interested share with each other as to not bore the rest of you...hey! but i did have a la bleue, two english artisanals, a parisian artisanal with ginger(!)
and segarra tonight... secondararific! and tasty, too...

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 10:35 am: Edit

"Although Chrysippvs seems to be MIA from the forum..."

I am here...I just lurk more than not these days...

I must say however it is amazing how much this has grown and changed since the days on beseen. I am just glad I was a part of things from the neigh beginning, and hope I can stick around till the end...

By Webfly on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 09:19 am: Edit


Sorry it took me so long to reply; time to post is sometimes a problem for me. For the present,let's see how discussions go and maybe a more formalized situation will follow. I am certainly interested in sharing information and stories about absinthe collectibles.


By Chevalier on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 09:14 am: Edit

I'd be glad to join in. Fellow collectors Oxygenee, Frenchman Phil, Petermarc and Morriganlefey have been very friendly and helpful to me. Perhaps they'd like to be part of a Collectors' Club?

Although Chrysippvs seems to be MIA from the forum and Mike Iavarone doesn't show up much, they'd definitely be assets to any Collectors' Club.

By Etienne on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 05:19 am: Edit


Good to hear of your interest. I would like to see the collectors of the group interact a bit more. It seems that the main focus of the Forum now is social interaction. Not a thing in the world wrong with this, of course, but there are a lot of other directions an interest in absinthe can go as well. Any possibility of a collectors club of some sort forming? Or does everyone think that would be too formal? (or too much bother). Input is welcome.


By Webfly on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 12:17 pm: Edit


Thanks for your help. I'm as enthusiastic about collecting as I am about trying different absinthes. There are very few antique dealers in my area who have the faintest idea of what absinthe collectibles are.

I will continue to look at examples, but Etienne's comment, "The ultimate source will have to be the objects themselves" is well taken.


By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 12:59 pm: Edit

If only it were my bar! It belonged to Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet and bon-vivant. His home (and the bar inside it) are now a museum.

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 12:44 pm: Edit


Thanks for the great photograph. An absinthe home bar! Nice cordon glasses and an incredible fountain. The seltzer bottle at the far right is also pretty cool.

...I'm such a materialist

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 12:31 pm: Edit

Etienne, here (on the left of the photo) is an unusual absinthe fountain -- with piped-in water -- in Valparaiso, Chile. You can see some cordon glasses on the lower shelf behind it. The top two saucers held sugar cubes. In person, the fountain is rather smaller than it looks here. my picture

By Etienne on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 12:24 pm: Edit

The catalogs on Phil's (and Ian's) sites are certainly some of the best original source material available, but they are only a beginning.There are only six catalogs online now, and they hardly cover the entire production for a period that might be 40 years long.

No matter what we do as far as chasing vintage paper, and no matter how much value these documents have, tons of objects will appear which will never be found in any catalog.In addition the engravings which appear in these catalogs will sometimes bear only a vague resemblence to an actual object.

The ultimate source will have to be the objects themselves. This is one of the reasons I so enjoy seeing forunites posting photos of their treasures. Between us I'm sure there is a fine body of material, augmenting that held by the museums. Just a matter of getting it all together in one place.


By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 11:19 am: Edit

Webfly, here's the best source that I've seen on the Internet, straight from the horse's mouth: antique French glassware catalogues. Go to

By Webfly on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 10:47 am: Edit

"Wouldn't it be great to think that one day we might have a glassware book to go along with Delahaye's spoon book."

I know I haven't done my Forum homework, as I seem to remember issues like this discussed, but, doies anyone know of some good sources relative to glassware?

By Timk on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 04:05 pm: Edit

I have a cut-glass topette with etched numbers and cut lines - the thing is definitely hand blown and wheel cut, i'll try and post some pictures


By Etienne on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 04:01 pm: Edit

Wouldn't it be great to think that one day we might have a glassware book to go along with Delahaye's spoon book.

By Etienne on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 03:45 pm: Edit


Thanks so much for the help. The supply-side economics of the thing hadn't occured to me. Good of you to go to the trouble with the photograph. The Glass on the right is dynamite, a proper stiff drink there!


By Petermarc on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 03:03 pm: Edit

it is not possible to date the glasses by the dose marks, since they appear to be more for the bar-owner than the customer(i.e. great variances-in other words, not dosed for a good drink, but for an honest, or dishonest pour)...the glasses can be dated a bit by style...older glasses (i believe 1890 and earlier)have a shiny circle on the bottom that sometimes looks broken or chipped, this is a pontil mark from hand blowing the glass...pastis glasses tend to be smaller, occasionally have gold or silver rims,the glass itself is thinner, it is less crude,or very 'machine made clean', more uniform, has few or no bubbles in the glass...topettes were used for all types of alcohols, it is impossible to say that it was used for absinthe, only... sometimes the name of the liquor was engraved on them...since most of these were also hand-blown, i have found the accuracy is quite good, considering...
one has a dose for 1 ounce, the other for 3 ounces, which pour do you want?

By Etienne on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 10:39 am: Edit

Greetings all;

Let's try this once more.I've recently started collecting absinthe related trinkets and am having a great time with it. I remember at some point in the past a statement to the effect that when absinthe was banned and pastis came to the fore the dosage changed. Is this reflected in the glassware? Is it possible in a general way to date glasses by the size of the dose?

I've also noticed that the size of the rings on the topettes seem to vary a great deal.I imagine that these were used for more than just absinthe. How does one know what is what. Any information from those in the know would be appreciated.

P.S. Sorry for the posting screw-ups, I'm new to this.

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