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: Good vintage condition for a silver-plated shaker that's almost 90 years old, but this piece does show noticeable 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 shows a ton of tarnish and patina that may or may NOT polish away. We think it's a pretty magical patina, but if you're looking for a pristine, non-tarnished silver-plating, please see our other cocktail shaker listings.
2) There's wear to the silver-plating on the bottom exterior of the jigger (where the plating has worn slightly and the brass is peaking through)
3) There's a small shallow ding on the bottom exterior of the shaker just about the "Napier" hallmark
4) This piece "wobbles" very so slightly when sitting on a perfectly flat surface
5) There's general "surface wear"
6) There's general "age"
7) There's tarnish and wear to the silver-plating on the inside interior of the cap
8) There's a small "ding" on the rim of the strainer on one side
9) There's general "age" and wear (very tiny areas of wear to the silver-plating) in the very bottom interior of the shaker
10) There's tarnish to the underside interior of the lid
11) The lid is ever so slightly warped and will take a few seconds to fit onto the bottom the the shaker's body (we see this in about 99% of all Napier Tells U How cocktail shakers) -- the quickest way is to put the lid on a "side" of the shaker and then gently press the other side "in" with your finger and the lid fits on fairly easily and snugly.
Please see all photos. We can only upload 10 photos. If you'd like additional photos, please message us. Cheers.
We're realize that 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 very noticeable signs of age, general wear, age spots, and a few dings (outlined above). *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.
Inv Ref # NTU34