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Vintage King George IV Old Scotch Whisky Collapsible Cup

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Posted 5 years ago


(344 items)

Hi there guys I didn't know what category to post under but since this involves whisky I though you guys might have the most knowledge of this item. It's an aluminum Collaspsible Drinking cup labeled King George IV Old scotch whisky. It's got really nice detail and works great. Dies anyone know what time period this is ..I found it at the bottom of an old tackle box.

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  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
  2. solver solver, 5 years ago
    Hi, I don't know how old yours is or the manufacturer. However, the first collapsible telescopic pocket cup was invented by John Lines of Waterbury, Connecticut, USA, for Scovill Manufacturing Co., patent 577,764 issued February 23, 1897.
  3. scottvez scottvez, 5 years ago
    Interesting information solver.

    I have seen thicker versions (in era japaned holders) identified as Civil War soldier's private purchase items. I don't remember if there was any provenance associated with them. They are also pictured in some early Civil War collector reference works. Many items from these pioneering works have since been proven to be later items, so these cups may fall into that category.

  4. rniederman rniederman, 5 years ago
    I have a nickel plated collapsible cup with the Feb 23, 1897 patent date as noted by solver's post (#2). Its lid depicts a man and woman on a tandem bicycle and entitled "Cyclist's Cup." I was surprised to see the patent issued to Scovill because the company was known for working with brass and also made many fine wood and brass cameras that are highly collectible.

    I don't see many early versions of these cups, and a aluminum example is very interesting. It was an expensive metal (more expensive than gold) before a more effective extracting process was created in the 1880s.
  5. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hi, whitman75. I was very excited to see your cup. It has that subtle glow of moonlight to it. Most beautiful! I now have time to make a comment. It follows upon rniederman’s excellent comment.

    As you know, King George IV died in 1830. I think that the whisky was registered for a trademark in the 1880's.

    It looks like the forum is a very helpful organization. If you've not already found the answer to your question, I would ask "JoJo", Editor of

    As you know, this is an advertising piece, and the maker would not have chosen a precious metal for its medium. Is this pure aluminum, or an alloy? Without its King George IV imprint, if I were asked to assign a likely date for its production , and I assumed that it were an alloy, I'd venture that it was produced circa after 1900, perhaps after WWI, perhaps during the 1920’s-30’s, though perhaps much later. I point out that as early as circa 1900 the American company Viko had produced an aluminum comb that was not considered a precious object. It was marketed instead as ‘non-breakable, sanitary, and everlasting’. I find a number of aluminum cups on eBay right now; three interest me here. One is dated circa 1930. It was issued as a souvenir of a religious organization, The House of David (Benton Harbor, MI). A stylish church, one that would not have produced a tacky souvenir. Another is a Boy Scouts’ cup. It would perhaps not be too difficult to find the date range in which the Scouts cup was produced, if you wanted to pursue it. That cup would be an alloy, as pure aluminum is highly malleable and would not be a good choice for a backpack! The third eBay cup is very interesting. It is an antique souvenir of Washington, D.C. I wonder if the material for the Washington cup was chosen for its stylishness? Rene Lalique considered aluminum as a medium for his Roger & Gallet’s "Fleurs d'Amour" powder boxes because aluminum was very stylish in pre-WWI Paris. Lalique was unable to produce his boxes until after WWI, however, because during WWI the supply of aluminum was restricted to the military. It was perhaps three-four years after WWI before he could get enough aluminum to produce his boxes - the 1920's. Could aluminum also have been chosen as the medium of the Washington cup because the capstone of the Washington Monument had a celebratedly stylish aluminum pyramid for a “cap” (1884)? Follows a link to the eBay cups:

    Here’s a link to an excellent example of Lalique’s “Fleurs d’Amour” box.

    If you want to read more about the history of aluminum in design, an excellent book is “Aluminum by Design: Jewelry to Jets”, Sarah Nichols, Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA), distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (NY), 2000. I don’t agree with one of their statements about Lalique’s powder boxes, and haven’t confirmed yet another assertion about them, but there’s no doubt that this book is superb. If you collect aluminum design, it would be well worth your while to read it.

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