The Miniature Bottle Collector

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

German Giveaways: A Porcelain Primer

You may know these bottles under one of a variety of names: giveaways, German giveaways, German porcelains, nips, nippers, grotesques, etc. You're surely free to call them whatever you want; however, they were manufactured in Germany and many were produced by the firm of Schafer and Vater which began sometime from 1890 to 1896 and closed its doors possibly as late as 1962. These bottles though date from the 1890's to the 1920's, of that there seems to be general agreement among collectors. The bottles are found in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, but as of yet are unknown in Germany. They come in a variety of sizes from just a few inches to well over a foot. They are found in both high glaze and bisque and in multi-color, blue, brown, gray, and an occasional green. This time we will look at two brown and two blue.

There's really very little to tell as the bottles speak for themselves. Some of these will on the rarest of occasions be found with a paper label. More will be discovered to have the name of a bar or restaurant etched into the porcelain. It is the bars prior to prohibition which used them and have allowed us now to have some delightful collectibles.

Bars would use these as gifts and most often gave them away, usually at Christmas. If you were a habitual elbow-bender, you probably got the quart size with or without a music box base. Naturally this bottle was then filled with the bar's whiskey. If you were less of a regular attendee, you got a smaller size. For many of the styles, there were five different sizes! For our purposes though, these are the smallest size of each of these styles. Next time we'll look at some of the multi-colored ones.


  • These are great! I can't believe I've never heard of or seen these before.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:14 PM  

  • I own a firewater and 2 "a good sip" bottles and many many more bottles. I am looking to sell them. Do you buy them?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:22 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home