Vintage Barware and Mid Century Glassware Specialists



Napier Cocktail Shaker Tells You How

Sale price $930.07 Regular price $1,046.02

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A rare and lovely Art Deco Napier Tells-U-How (Tells You How) cocktail shaker, circa 1930s. Truly a cool piece. Patented in 1935, this wonderful silver-plated cocktail shaker is a true classic. Shaker shaker is heavier in weight and consists of four pieces - the shaker body with 15 classic cocktail recipes engraved on it, an outer covering which turns to show the corresponding recipe, strainer top piece, and domed lid. Napier marketed this shaker as a "Tells U How Beverage Mixer" that "tells you what to use and how much" (that was on their original marketing ad for this Art Deco shaker). The cocktail recipes (listed in red font) are a Side Car, Tom Collins, Whisky Sour, Alexander, Bacardi, Between The Sheets, Bronx, Clover Club Dry Martini, Dubonnet, Gin Rickey, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Orange Blossom and Palm Beach. Truly a magical and rare mixer.

A quick bit of history on Napier: The Napier Company was named after its president, James H. Napier, who led the company from 1920 to 1960. But the company's history can be tracked back to 1875 when it was founded as Whitney and Rice in Attleboro, Mass., manufacturing silver products. The firm changed hands and name in 1882 and became Carpenter and Bliss and shortly thereafter, E.A. Bliss and Co., Inc. After rapid expansion in the late 1880s the company moved to Meriden, CT in 1890. After WWI, the firm shifted emphasis from silver products to production of modern jewelry. James Napier became president in 1920 and the company adopted the name Napier - Bliss Co. In 1922, the name was changed to Napier Company. Like many jewelry companies Napier got into lines of art objects and other utilitarian objects like cocktail shakers. In the early to mid 1930s they started producing several cocktail shakers (most notably this 'Tells-You-How" shaker (also referred to as "Dial-a-Drink" shaker) and other pieces of barware including their well-known graduated/stepped jigger and the mechanical/valve jigger.

Maker/year: Napier, 1935

Hallmarks: "Napier" / "US Patents Pending 2013618 2013616" / "Also Foreign Patents" is embossed on the bottom of the shaker

Condition: Very good vintage condition for a silver-plated shaker that's almost 90 years old, but this piece does show signs of age, tarnish, patina, and what we refer to as general "surface wear". We're pretty Type A about summarizing the exact condition of our vintage pieces so here's a complete summary:

1) The silver-plating is in good shape overall but does show signs of age including: small age spots and patina in a few places and general surface wear
2) There's a noticeble darker age spot on the lower part of the shaker that will not polish it, it's through the silver-plating (see photo #5), lower left side
3) The cap and lid fit snugly however it's not 100% round so it will take you a small bit of effort to get the lid pefectly onto the shaker's body -- see photo #6
4) The interior is clean overall
5) The red font (for the recipes) can still be seen but does show fading and wear
5) There are no major dents or dings on the body of the shaker
6) The pour spout (at the top of the lid) has a slight bend on one side of the rim (see photo #3)
7) While the silver-plating is in good shape overall, it does show signs of age including spots that are more "dull" than others, mostly to one area (see photo #7)
8) There's tarnish and patina inside the interior cap -- see photo #6

We're a bit over the top when it comes to describing every detail our vintage pieces, but we like to be thorough and emphasize this is a true vintage piece that's going on 90 years old. In short, this shaker is in good vintage condition overall but does show noticeable signs of age, general wear, age spots, a small bend to the spout's interior strainer rim, patina, and tarnish. *Please note: this piece has not been polished as some buyers are very particular about "as is" condition.

**Please Also Note: we typically do not test our shakers for leakage. We offer a variety of vintage shakers (both usable as well as collectible/display only). We are happy to put our shaker through a thorough leakage test (which involves filling it with liquid and rigorously shaking it) -- please message us if you'd like us to test this particular shaker. Cheers!

Measurements: A tad over 10 1/2" tall

**On shipping: We take our packaging very seriously and carefully wrap all pieces to ensure safe delivery. This shaker will be double-boxed to ensure safe arrival.

****Important to note pre-purchase: Buyers, please examine all photos carefully as we cannot accept returns due to the fragile nature (the possibility of breakage or damage when being shipped back) of our vintage/antique pieces. Our items are true vintage pieces that might have manufacturers flaws, flaws from age, or imperfections in general from being vintage. We try to explain the condition/description in an accurate and thorough manner but we ask that you please examine all photos carefully and ask all questions before purchasing an item as we are unable to accept returns due to the risk of breakage/damage.