For generations, the epitome of suave and cool was James Bond, whose signature lines included the particular way he requested his martinis: shaken, not stirred.
Consider the cocktail shaker: by definition, it is must-have barware, created to aid in the thorough mixing of flavors by better integrating a drink's ingredients. But the best cocktail shakers amount to so much more, not only aiding in the creation of the perfect drink, but capturing the attention of those in the room, both visually and by becoming a part in the bartender's show through the rhythmic percussion of ice and ingredients.
Without the shaker, Agent 007 would be ordering his drinks just like the rest of us!
"Cocktail shakers are an artform of their own, enjoying a swell of popularity among elite collectors," Heritage Auctions
Design Director Brent Lewis said. "During Prohibition, some of the best designers in the country directed their focus toward the creation of functional, modern pieces for the home, and among the most popular were beautiful cocktail shakers, which were both functional and highly collectible."
Heritage Auctions' April 27 Design Auction will feature an assortment of nine cocktail shakers from an Important Collection.
Erik Magnussen Cocktail Shaker with Twelve Cups, circa 1930, Gorham Mfg. Co. (estimate: $10,000-15,000) includes a silver shaker standing 12 inches tall Marked to shaker GORHAM, (lion-anchor-G), STERLING, A14082, (date mark), EM, GORHAM INC., along with 12 silver cups.
An Elsa Tennhardt Rare Cocktail Shaker, 1929, E. & J. Bass Co. (estimate: $10,000-15,000) is a stunning silver-plated brass shaker in a triangular column form that can be the centerpiece of any collection or the central focal point on a table. Standing 12-1/2 inches high, it is marked to underside 9164, E. & J.B., U.S. PATENT #75939.
A Jean Després Rare Cocktail Shaker and Six Cups, 1926 (estimate: $7,000-9,000) includes a silver-plated shaker standing 9-1/2 inches tall that is signed to shaker J Després. The shaker and its lid, as well as the six cups offered with it, each feature an ornate chain-like pattern around the bottom.
A Lurelle Van Arsdale Guild Cocktail Shaker and Six Cups, circa 1934 (estimate: $5,000-7,000) features a silver-plated shaker that stands tall at 15-3/4 inches high and is marked to shaker Lurelle Guild, INTERNATIONAL GIFTWARE, 5840. The cups are marked "INTERNATIONAL GIFTWARE, 5839."
A conversation piece in any setting, a silver-plated press Emil A. Schuelke Penguin Cocktail Shaker, 1936, Napier (estimate: $2,500-3,500) stands 12-1/4 inches tall and is marked to underside NAPIER, PAT. D-101559. The shaker comes by its name honestly, designed with a barrel-shaped "body" and a spout that is reminiscent of a penguin's beak; even the base is designed to evoke images of penguin feet.
Also featured is a rare Elsa Tennhardt Rare Ice Bucket, circa 1928, E. & J. Bass Co. (estimate: $3,000-5,000). The silver-plated brass bucket stands 5 inches high, and measures 8-1/4 by 7-1/8 inches, and is Stamped 9166, E. & J. B., U.S. PATENT #75939 to underside.
Other cocktail shakers in the auction include:
A Louis W. Rice Shadowardt Cocktail Shaker, circa 1930, Apollo Silver Co. for Bernard Rice's Sons, Inc. (estimate: $2,000-3,000)
An After Keith Day Pearce Murray Athenian-Style Cocktail Shaker, designed circa 1930 (estimate: $1,500-2,500)
A Victoria Cocktail Shaker, circa 1930 (estimate: $1,200-1,800)
A Luc Lanel Ondulations Cocktail Shaker for the SS Normandie, designed circa 1930, Christofle (estimate: $600-800)