Pub Memorabili

Pub Memorabilia

 Breweriana collecting is a bit of a man's thing... though I can't for the life of me think why! Bar and pub fittings and drinks accessories preferably associated with the big names of Guinness and Bass are all eagerly collected but of course there's a whole wealth of associated items and advertising connected with drinking and items are priced to suit most pockets.

Pieces of brewing and drinks history range from large and often ornate spirit barrels to fittings such as mirrors, posters and enamel signs as well as whole bar counters full of water jugs, soda siphons, beer mats, drinks dispensers, glasses, bottles, beer trays, advertising figures, postcards,
calendars, bottle openers and trade catalogs - to name just a few.

Pub Memorabilia

Though there are many areas related to drinks collecting it's fair to say that the collector of Brewerania is more concerned with items that could be found in public houses rather than the overtly wine-related collecting areas of corkscrews, glasses, decanter labels, coasters and so on.

Bar jugs are extremely popular and many were produced by Wade for various breweries and drinks companies. Very popular with collectors are those which are early or by other well known makers such as Royal Doulton, Shelley, T.G. Green, Beswick, Lord Nelson and Langley as well as examples that bear an uncommon inscription or have crossover appeal.

Jugs come in all shapes and sizes and the fish- shaped Plymouth Gin jugs are a well known and jolly sight. Especially popular with collectors are commemorative jugs - the associations between celebrating and drinking is a well exploited one and there are lots of them around. Rare old stoneware pub jugs with attractive script/ pictorials and in fine condition can fetch several hundred pounds.

Pub Memorabilia

Another essential for the Brewerania collector is the stoneware barrel for spirits and sherry that used to adorn every public house. Prominent manufacturers of these include Wedgwood and Royal Doulton and there are rarer examples by the Irish firm of Belleek.

The earliest ones were generally the plainest with more ornate and detailed decoration occurring in the late Victorian and Edwardian period.

Particularly sought after are those designed by Eliza Simmance for Doulton.

Pub Memorabilia

Prices for medium quality spirit barrels back in the 1970s were around £40-50 each whereas nowadays they can fetch between £200-300 each - taking inflation into account they have maintained their popularity and decorative appeal.

Guinness collecting remains as massive as the drink itself and the ceramic figures made for them by Carlton Ware (blatantly faked throughout the 1990s) are as popular as ever. Prices for the sets of flying toucans have fluctuated quite wildly but they're still seen as an essential item.

Pub Memorabilia
At recent auctions a Guinness penguin lamp with revolving shade made £600 and a seal lamp with shade £720  Other items to whet the appetite of the Brewerania collector might include glass water dispensers which sat on \ the bar - to add water to drinks  when needed - and other dispensers usually associated with advertising such as copper dispensers in the form of the Eddystone Lighthouse promoting Oxo.

 There should also be some examples of glass soda syphons, preferably in attractive colours with nice etched lettering or designs and perhaps one or two with the wire/ basket weave covering designed to protect heavy drinkers from gas-induced exploding glass.

Beer bottle collecting as well as collecting beer trays, beer mats and the well established mania for beer can collecting in the States are all pretty much male domains and are definitely collecting areas for those who really do know their stuff.

Pub Memorabilia

It's essential with bottle collecting that they be in as near pristine condition as possible which includes having the contents intact.

All types of bottles have collectors devoted to them, including Codd bottles known for their revolutionary marble stoppers and stoneware and glass bottles.

If all this seems too much to collect then a good viable alternative is to specialise in a particular type or brand of drink. Guinness is the obvious choice and the vast wealth of promotional material understandably makes it hugely popular.

However some other names to consider include Johnny Walker, Gordon's Gin,
Beefeater Gin, Captain Morgan rum, Sandeman port, Whitbread's, William Younger, Double Diamond (recently a D.D. 'works wonders' ceramic advertising figure sold for £210),

Pub Memorabilia

Black and White scotch whisky advertising memorabilia and of course the long-standing Bass. Founded in 1777 the famous Bass red triangle has the additional claim to fame of being registered Trademark No. 1 (with their diamond trademark at No. 2)

Not even mentioned so far are items such as Britannia pub tables (heavily 'cloned' of late), pub mirrors which often advertised tobacco products as well as edible items and soft drinks, playing cards, dominoes, attractive match-strikers, pump clips, advertising ashtrays (the vast majority of which are very affordable), clocks and all manner of advertising signs ranging from brass plaques through to large enamels.

As collecting Brewerania is now very established you may well be able to pick up the more common advertising pieces for a lot less than the going rate was a couple of years ago. Most seasoned collectors will only spend big money on the real rarities - not good news if you're hoping to sell your own nice but fairly standard collection at a profit.

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