So what is an egg cup? A formal eggcup is a chubby little vessel used to serve hard-boiled eggs in their shells and has been around since at least the time of Pompeii. They have become somewhat more popular as collectibles since the 1990s.
Today, there are thousands of varieties of egg cups available, from single cups to double cups. The single cut rests on a single leg or pedestal, and sometimes one can be found on a pair of legs. Singles and doubles can be made from all possible materials, from porcelain and glass to wood, silver plated, plastic and even semi-precious stones. Egg cups are rarely seen in silver, as the metal conducts heat and the sulfur in the eggs causes tarnishing. Obviously, the fancy chocolate molded eggs belong in a fancy silver egg cup. There are floral and keepsake egg cups, mugs with faces, and animal-shaped mugs. For children, there will be egg cups decorated with their favorite fairytale characters.
Since egg cups are so small, hundreds of these collectibles can be displayed in a relatively compact space. In the 1930s, a Fannie Farmer chick mug would come with a chocolate Easter egg. Easter-themed egg cups are among the most popular cup shapes.
Similar vessels are often confused with egg cups such as candle holders, custard cups and shot glasses, but there is nothing wrong with that as collectors like to display eggs in cups to small jars flowers.
The older and rarer it is, the better the condition, the more unique the maker, the more valuable an egg cup will be as a collector’s item. Whether you’re looking online or in antique stores, an egg cup can range from very inexpensive to several hundred dollars. And, since egg cups were often just a small part of a larger dinnerware set, many were unmarked, so it can be difficult to verify their history and maker.
Egg cups can be considered cross-collectibles, attracting more than one type of collector, with most found at local antique and gift stores, online markets, flea markets, auctions and garage sales as well as thrift stores/consignments. Keep in mind that many companies offered egg cups as part of their fine china pieces during the Victorian era and still continue today in some sets.
Erica Thilges, manager of New Generations of Harmony, said: “Egg cups are a fun and functional dish that can be used every day or for spring decoration. We have a wide selection of egg cups ranging from jadeite to vintage hallmark to hand painted egg cups. We have an egg cup to fit all styles ranging from $5 to $45. Looking for a fun way to show off egg collections? We have vintage planters and flower pots that can be a festive way to show off an Easter egg collection. Planters range from $14.50 to $24.95. »
Stacy Hermann, Vintage & Glam, US Highway. 14, Stockton, www.facebook.com/vintageglam17 says, “We have hundreds of things people get creative with to use for every season, including Easter and eggs. And to make their own egg cups and more. Our prices range from very little to what a person wants to spend. I will say the average will be between $10 and $30.
Sarah Kieffer, Sarah’s Uniques, St. Charles, said, “I have several different types in the shop, ranging in price from $4 to $24, depending on type and rarity. They make great Easter gifts and look great mixed and laid around the table. at Easter. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, you can show them off in a beautiful egg cup. I also have a few egg plates.
Chris Rand Kujath, Owner, Old River Valley Antique Mall, Stewartville, said: “We get many different types throughout the year. What we have now are Fanny Farmers ranging from $18-20 each.
Shayna Dais, Rusty Bucket, Winona, “I suggest using a demitasse mug or a fun full-size teacup to use for Easter with one or more eggs in a mug.”
Sandy Erdman is a Winona-based freelance writer and certified appraiser who focuses on vintage, antique and collectibles. Send feedback and story suggestions to Sandy at