|Collecting Absinthe Antiques
|If you’re looking to put together a small but choice collection of antiques, mainly to enhance the experience of drinking a fine
absinthe together with a few friends, I’d suggest the following:
Half a dozen good quality reservoir glasses, with matching price-marked porcelain saucers.
A dozen interesting absinthe spoons of varied designs.
A nice water carafe with bistro advertising.
In total, expect to pay around $3000 to put this type of collection together. Once you've assembled a basic collection like this,
you may want to take things to the next level, by adding:
An exceptional carafe with absinthe publicity. $1000 - $2000+
A pyrogene, or bistrot matchstriker, as found on every café table of the period. About $400 – $1000+
An early chromolithographic advertising carton, or original poster perhaps to decorate your cellar wall. $800 to $10000++
A rare spoon. $800 – $4000+. The most famous designs are Les Feuilles d’Absinthe and Les Tours Eiffel.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a fine absinthe fountain. These are rare, spectacular looking, wonderful to use, and a
great conversation piece, but consequently very expensive. In fine working condition expect to pay $3000 upwards for a true
absinthe period fountain. Really exceptional examples can be much more.
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The Absinthe Spoon The premier source
for fine replica spoons, glasses and fountains.
Banned for almost a century until its recent revival, absinthe is something of a “living fossil”, a coelecanth amongst drinks. No
other spirit has the same powerful ability to take us back in time, to the era of its heyday, the era of Van Gogh and Toulouse
Lautrec, of Verlaine and Rimbaud, of the gilded Belle Epoque and of fin de siecle Paris. Even more evocative are the antiques
associated with its consumption: perforated spoons for holding the sugar cube, dose-marked reservoir glasses, advertising
carafes, matchstrikers or pyrogenes for the grande marques, absinthe advertising posters, books and journals, manufacturers
catalogues and postcards.... all precious relics of a forgotten era. Few collecting fields are more fascinating and rewarding -
long cherished by knowledgeable collectors in France and Switzerland, the accoutrements of the absinthe era are now also
avidly collected by collectors in the US and Canada, the UK, Australia and Japan.
To buy authentic absinthe antiques, and to see a wide range of
original artifacts for sale, with online ordering, please visit our
sister site, Absinthe Originals.
We periodically have high quality absinthe antiques and original
artworks for sale by private treaty. These include original Belle Epoque
posters, absinthe carafes and fountains with publicity markings, and
the rarest absinthe spoons. More standard items like Pontarlier and
Cordon glasses, and two and three star spoons are usually available ex
stock. We sell only items in fine unrestored original condition, and
unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of everything we sell.
Please contact us to put your name on our mailing list if you're a
serious potential purchaser. If you're looking for something specific,
please let us know - the more details you're able to give, the sooner
we're likely to be able to help you.
If you're interested in original pre-1915 bottles of vintage
absinthe, click here. We continually search throughout France,
Switzerland and Spain for sealed bottles of vintage absinthe, in fine
original condition. When we do find pre-1915 bottles, they tend to sell
very quickly, often to buyers already on our waiting list.
Please visit our Web Shop if you're interested in reproduction
posters and replica antiques.
This is a rapidly growing and I think uniquely fascinating collecting field: anything
high quality you buy should not only retain its value, but steadily increase in value in
the years ahead.
Traditionally most collectors in the field have been French or Swiss – with the
growth of the internet, there are now increasingly serious collectors in the UK,
Germany, Japan and the US. As English language reference sources become more
available, so this pool of collectors will continue to increase.
At the same time the re-legalisation of absinthe in France and Switzerland - and,
most recently, in the USA, the explosive growth of the worldwide absinthe market,
and the prominent role accorded to absinthe in movies like Moulin Rouge have all
resulted in more demand for, and interest in, the antiques of the pre-ban period.
Prices, especially for exceptional items, continue to rise steadily.
Please visit Absinthe Originals to see a selection of antiques for sale, or contact
us if you have specific questions. If you're a serious collector, we'll work with you
in the long term to help you build your collection, and to help you find those elusive
rarities you've long coveted.
This recently published article in a French collector's magazine gives an excellent overview of the many different aspects of
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.