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A Tale of Two Pitchers

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I was browsing eBay looking at various majolica pitchers last night and came across these two specimens:

1) http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-St-Clement-Parrot-Decanter-/271278410693?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f29740bc5

 

2) http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-French-St-Clements-Faience-Majolica-Parrot-Bird-Pottery-Jug-Pitcher-/190892572123?pt=UK_PotteryPorcelain_Glass_PotteryPorcelain_China_SM&hash=item2c72157ddb

 

To me they appear to be the same model, although the second one is perhaps more faded in color than the first. However one is dated as aroudn 1890s and the other 1920. It got me very curious, is there anyway to verify either of these? Is it likely that this same model could have such divergent production dates (maybe the faded one is older?) or is it more likely one of the sellers is misinformed?

Finally, in general how can you be sure these majolica decanters are for absinth? by a small opening?

 

Thanks!

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Long story short : if you want a St Clément, don't buy it on ebay. Ever.

St Clément pieces are copied and copied over, originals are scarce and expensive.

 

As for the date, you could tell any one of the Keller Guerin period, which conveniently started circa 1890 and ended circa 1920. (for reference : http://pichet.sct.free.fr/ )

 

And either the sellers are fool, or they are crooks. And then again maybe not. But you can't be sure only looking at photos.

 

 

Finally, in general how can you be sure these majolica decanters are for absinth? by a small opening?

well actually they are not made for absinthe, they're made for water. But at that period in time, there are few beverages (but absinthe is not the only one AFAIK) which require a small stream of water.

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Also, a normal ceramic pitcher with a spout can work even better than some of the ones with small holes! The bulldog pitchers, for instance, have holes that are actually quite large, compared to some other pitchers commonly used with absinthe. It depends on the way they pour, but don't rule out trad pitchers, there are many really cool antique ones out there at a really good price that work great, and are very beautiful. A perfect example of how well a spout can work with absinthe prep is a 2 cup clear glass with red markings Pyrex measuring cup with a pour spout; it makes the most perfect pour you can find, from drips to a tiny stream. I use one when I have a casual drink and don't want to risk using a valuable antique!

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