Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Mar 19, 2011 07:34 AM

Antique Hawthorne Strainer

I picked up a very old Hawthorne Strainer at a vintage fair. The seller had it labeled as a tea strainer and could not provide any real info. I'm trying to find a bit more about it, but can't seem to find too much online - no pictures, no eBay auctions.

I assume it's a very early one because it has a stamp on the back that says:

PAT. OCT. 11, 1892

I found this, which explains a lot, but I'm still left wondering about when mine was actually made, how common they were, etc.


The main difference between the one I have and the one pictured in the design patent is that instead of a double row of punched holes around the edge, mine has holes spelling "HAWTHORNE."

Does anyone know more about these, or who/where to look for more info? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Post a pic and i will print it out and ask Ted Haigh. I'm having lunch with him tomorrow. (Ted is the curator/founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail you linked to above.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      Thanks so much.

      The second picture is the stamp on the back of the handle. There is another stamp on the bottom side of the strainer, but you can barely see it and doesn't come out in pictures - it looks like an eagle with "M B & Co" written.

        1. re: DoubleMan

          I never got to meet up with Ted. He has the flu. I emailed him the info and pics.

      1. I recently picked up one of these Vaseline Glass Juicers on ebay for $10. It is amazing. I used to have a smaller clear glass one that did not work as well. The swirls, and size of the reamer make this one a joy to use. Great price on this one, but it has a chip or two:

        5 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy

          Nice. I see those a lot at Brimfield, which is where I got my strainer. The dealer had it labeled as an "early tea strainer." If it had been a yard sale I would have felt bad buying it when the owner clearly didn't know what it was, but I think an antique dealer should know better.

          1. re: DoubleMan

            You are under no ethical obligation to tell a dealer what they are selling. If it's a little old lady... then I would always err on the side of compensating them appropriately.

            I use to have a bit of a problem collecting old decanters and the like. Check out this cocktail shaker. It's HUGE 14 inches tall, signed Hawkes, the fixtures are sterling. I think I paid $50 on ebay for it.

            The other pics are just some of my random collection.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              You've got a problem.

              Back to the orginal post: that is an awesome find. I'm especially intrigued by the fact it was made in Boston. As you probably know, the history of the Boston shaker (which is where you frequently would use a Hawthorne strainer) is unclear. I wonder if provides another piece of the puzzle? Perhaps Ted Haigh could opine on this...

              1. re: Alcachofa

                The Boston history is a huge plus for me. I wanted to see if the company that made it was still standing, but it's now the Ritz-Carlton residences.

                I came across this, which seems to explain the Hawthorne name. (How about that for some marketing?) I wonder if someone more skilled could dig up a history, maybe pictures, of that bar.