This weekend I found an estate sale around the corner from me. It was next door actually to one I had been to a few months back. I love going through those old houses; they have some really cool bones. This one had some unique features, too. There was a nice built in cabinet with sliding doors in the pantry. There wasn’t much left by the time I got there but there were some nice pieces. I found this neat covered aluminum buffet dish with a Pyrex divided dish inside.
Also hidden in that sweet little cabinet were these egg coddlers. I have a set like them of my own except mine are Royal Worcester. I got these to sell at the Vintage Eve’s shop. They are Wedgwood and have the Wild Strawberry pattern on them from the mid-1960s. Aren’t they pretty! And useful!
I like stuff that is useful and these are very useful. Egg Coddlers, near as anyone can tell were invented sometime around the end of the 1800s. The first time anyone seems to have seen these is when they were produced by Grainger China Works in the 1880s for Royal Worcester (Museum of Royal Worcester).
Apparently, the first ones were made of earthenware and fired at a very high temperature. They had a flat cover, without the lifting ring that we are used to seeing on the coddlers and were plain white or simply decorated.
According to the Museum of Royal Worcester, from about 1910 to 1928 these were listed in the Royal Worcester factory ledgers as “Premier Egg Cups.” They have a patent number of 561564. Their two most popular patterns were Worcester Willow and Pekin.
On the Museum of Royal Worcester website there is a useful list of marks to help date the Royal Worcester coddlers. Wedgwood coddlers have a different look than the Royal Worcester line. They have a smaller pedestal than the Royal Worcester and they have a more convex shape. Egg-Coddlers.com says that Wedgwood coddlers have a very distinctive lip that sticks out a few millimeters from the body. You can see that lip below.
The rings on the Wedgwoods are different, too. They have a thicker, flat piece of metal on the top where the Royal Worcester coddlers have more of a thin lifter ring. The Wedgwood ones also come in two sizes known as single and double. The double is 4 1/2″ tall and 2 7/8″ in diameter (Egg-Coddlers.com).
Max Roesler or Rosler was another company that made egg coddlers. Their’s were porcelain with a flat porcelain lid that screwed on.
So what do we do with coddlers? We make coddled eggs! Butter the inside of the coddler, crack an egg into the coddler, screw on the lid and put it in water up to where the lid is screwed on. Boil it for about 5 minutes and you will have a nice soft boiled egg. You can add all kinds of things before you close the lid, bacon, cream, chives, salt, pepper and more. There’s lots of recipes out there.
Well, I hope you have learned a little about the egg coddler. They are unique little items. As always, I will be partying at the links on the right this week — take a second and check them out. Have a wonderful week!