My paternal grandparents were in the house rental business. Then, as now, renters run off and leave things for the owners to clean out. Much is trash, but every now and then there is a good find.
My house is dotted with abandoned items from rent houses. One that has long intrigued me was a floral white mug with a shelf on the inside and a small round mirror on the outside.
In my memory, this was something that my grandfather had given to my mom. It could have come from Aunt Ruby’s house (Aunt Ruby is a story for another day), but I really think not.
From time-to-time I have displayed the mug because it was pretty and had flowers in my favorite color, pink. I had finally worked out that it might be a shaving mug.
Recently while reading about mustache mugs as I explored more about the history of tea, I got out my little mug to determine if it was a shaving mug or a mustache mug.
I am now 100% sure it is a shaving mug. The inside shelf, which would hold the shaving soap, has drain holes so that the soap could dry. The other side opens so as to rest a shaving brush.
If it were a mustache mug in which tea were drank while keeping a man’s mustache dry, the shelf should not offer drain holes, nor would a mirror be affixed to the side. However, in theory, a shaving mug could second as a mustache mug.
What I find interesting about so many of the shaving mugs is how delicate and feminine they look. Mine is a dainty, white, pink and green floral confection that looks lovely on a shelf. I may see if Mike wants to try it out for shaving. I bet he will think I am crazy if I offer to him.
My granddad also gave my mom a serpentine front dresser and an old victrola cabinet. I grew up with both items in our home, and now both are in my home. The victrola cabinet used to house Christmas wrapping as the actual victrola has long been gone. Now days I use it to store vases. The dresser was my dresser when I was little. It now holds paper and other office supplies in my study.
Maybe growing up with old furniture and housewares is what inspires me to buy antique furniture and decor rather than shiny new items. The old items have so much more design, details, quality, originality, and character. They also have a past with a story to tell.
I recently purchased an old barley twist desk for my rental office (the trades as well as the antiques get passed down in my family) . It was a toss-up between an early 1900s dark barley desk (which won) or a honey burlwood and chrome mid century modern piece. I wanted both and may find a way to work the latter into the decor elsewhere.
There you have it. My love of antiques wrapped up in a mug!
Have you ever seen a shaving mug? Maybe your dad used one when you were little.
Bonus Information: Shaving mugs are useful for all sorts of things. I plan on using mine on my blog/craft room desk. Paperclips will fit nicely in the shelf and pens and pencils will be corralled in the open side. Or maybe it could be useful in the kitchen. An SOS pad could drain/dry in the shelf and a scrub brush or two could hangout in the deeper opening. A small floral design would look good as well!