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Author Topic: Whisky Measures  (Read 568 times)

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Offline Paul S.

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Whisky Measures
« on: September 02, 2016, 06:20:16 PM »
We've had these things before  -  the pictures too  -  but I notice they weren't watermarked, so I've redone them just to make sure we're complying with Kew's requirements.
These measures seem to have a small following, and must admit I see them very rarely, but found these two this morning for 2. the pair, so couldn't leave them behind  -  I doubt that charity shops have any idea as to their purpose - probably lots of other folk too.

James Couper & Sons, Glasgow, produced and Registered three designs for Whisky measures  -  Rd. Nos. 110942, 110943 (both dated 20th August 1857), and 237141 (dated 14th December 1869) - as per the attached images from the Kew Archives.
The shorter of my two, from this morning, looks to be a good match for 110942  -  apparently the capacity of Scottish Gills was smaller than their English counterpart - why I've no idea - and it's possible this measure is one Gill, but at the moment I don't have a cc measure to work out the capacity accurately, so not sure.                This example of 110942, like some other designs of measures, has the indicator for the liquid level, in the form of notches cut around the outside of the rim  -  quite small oblique mitred cuts in pairs and as a single cut, both forms on the same rim  -  indicating that for this measure the whisky must be filled fully up to the rim, and unless you had some idea of what to look for, it's unlikely these marks would register as something of importance             

For Couper's other Registration on the same date (110943), there would have been a similar form of mark or cut, on the body of the measure, to indicate the legal requirement of the minimum capacity.
However, the third of Couper's Registrations (237141 dated 14th December 1869) used a lead plug inserted into a hole drilled in the neck of the measure, to indicate the correct level of whisky required - and this lead plug was the subject of a patent taken out by Richardson of Stourbridge  -  although as mentioned the pieces were actually made by James Couper of Glasgow.
One of Richardsons sons went to work at James Couper & Sons, in Glasgow, where this later Registration was made, using the patented plug method, which was stamped by the Board of Trade inspector - with verification marks.               I'm sure we've had an example of 237141 on the Board previously.

Turning to the other measure from this morning - no idea who made it or what capacity it holds  -  there's a large good quality circular polished depression underneath, with plenty of wear, but I can't seem to find a good match for the shape, and no idea as to whether Scottish or English.
I'd suggest second half C19, but not sure  -  these things apparently continued in use until c. 1930.          If anyone can shed any light on the origins, or date, of this larger measure please do shout.
The capacity indicator on this larger one is in the form of a circular shallow mitre, cut around the upper part of the bulbous swelling of the neck  -  this cut can be seen in the photo.
The volume of this measure looks to be noticeably larger than the other one, and might even be one English Gill.

Feel free to comment or criticize etc. :)

Ref.  'Whisky Dispensers & Measures'  -  Brian Brooks  -  2

There are two more pix which will be on the next post.
             

Offline Paul S.

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2016, 06:22:23 PM »
the last two pix  -  Rd. 110943 and 237141  ......

Offline keith

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2016, 10:55:34 PM »
Ahhh, there's a subject very close to my heart, really like those don't think I've ever seen one in all my travels, great find  ;D ;D

Offline Paul S.

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2016, 07:04:42 AM »
Thanks Keith  ....   not so sure why they should seem rare - I'd have thought bearing in mind their robustness, long life and presumed widespread use etc., you'd think we should see more, but as you say, they seem to be uncommon  -    perhaps that's why they have a limited fan club.
The lack of information in the books etc., probably doesn't help.

There's little else they can be confused with, except small stopper-less decanters that were made for individual servings of wine, but those would lack any of the capacity markings.

Offline Barmy

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2016, 10:59:50 AM »
Here are my "Richardson Patent" measures by Couper and Son.



It took me 5 plus years to acquire a 1/2 pint size measure to give me a "pub set" (a 1/4 Gill, a 1/2 Gill, a 1 Gill and a 1/2 Pint size).  Here is a picture of my "pub set".

Barry

Offline Paul S.

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2016, 12:57:41 PM »
am very impressed Barry - that's indeed no mean feat to acquire all that you have there, and would go as far as to say you may even be the only person with that sort of completeness.       congratulations.

Offline Barmy

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2016, 05:05:34 PM »
Here are a few coloured measures/carafes I picked up this year:





Barry

Offline Paul S.

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2016, 08:08:33 PM »
very nice Barry -  these are identical to the three coloured pieces shown on the back of Brian Brooks booklet 'Whisky Dispensers & Measures'  -  did you acquire these from Brian, or perhaps they were from an auction??      beautiful examples - perhaps you should now write a book of your own Barry, am sure you have a lot of information :)

Offline Barmy

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2016, 11:20:02 PM »
Paul

Brian's book is still the bible of Whisky Measure collecting. I missed the auction of the Brian Brooks collection a couple of years ago.  But was lucky enough to recognize these three when they came up for sell at http://scottishantiquesinc.co.uk/.  I was lucky enough to get them before any one else noticed them.

I was thinking of starting a website with my Measures and Individual Carafes.  I now have about 60 of them.  Waiting for my newest to be delivered from Scottish Antiques.  It should be delivered at the beginning of next week.  It is a Scottish 1/2 pint.  I'll post it when I get it.

Two questions:  My wife are planning a UK trip next September.  Will "boot Sales" still be active at that time of year?  Are they advertised somewhere?
Barry

Offline Paul S.

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Re: Whisky Measures
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2016, 08:27:52 AM »
Barry, you must indeed have got up very early that morning for no one else to have spotted them ;D they are very nice pieces, and rare I'd imagine.             I've bought from Scottish Antiques in the past - they are a good source for interesting material - my purchases were tumblers in the main.
The web site sounds a great idea, but it's success may depend on generating enough interest from collectors, and I don't get the impression there are hordes of folk collecting these things - but wish you success if you do.

As for U.K. boot sales in September  -  my opinion is that you will be very luck to find items of your interest at such events, if that was what you had in mind.         Almost anything and everything has at one time or another been found, but it would be rash to visit with the assumption you will be successful in finding these measures etc.............   of course if you simply want to experience U.K. boot fairs then there are some large events that will still be open in that month, although suspect you will need to travel to widely spaced locations to find them  -  there is a publication that gives details of these venues, but forget the name at present.             Understandably, most boots operate with the proviso that if the weather is wet then they will not be open, and generally September is really the last month that boots are going to be active.
You will need to locate the large boots to make a visit worthwhile.......    too many smaller events do not have collectibles in the sort of quantity that you would want to see, to make a visit worthwhile.     
Off hand, locations I frequent for boots are .........   near Guildford, near Epsom (both in Surrey) 20 - 25 miles south west from London  ...   
near Arundel (Ford is the location) in Sussex (seventy miles south ish from London)  ............  these are known for having good collectible, and Ford is one of the best boots for antiques that I know.              Details of these sites will be on the internet.

If you are going to be in the London area, then you should try to arrange a visit to coincide with one of the two mornings (they occur on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month I think) of the Sunbury Antiques fair  -  west of London by just a few miles and they have a good web site to help visitors.              Whilst it is an Antiques fair, it always makes me think of a very up-market boot sale..........    items are sold that defy belief in terms of diversity, and very interesting glass can be found without trouble - as Roy will confirm - but don't tell him I've told you about this event. ;) ;D                It has a 6.30 a.m. start, and it pays to be early.

Obviously, as a 'southerner' my opinion would be to concentrate on the London area, which might possibly contain the more active boots and other antiques venues, but am sure others here may offer advice in other cities, and you should find enough within such locations to keep you occupied.

Best of luck.

 

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