OUR VINTAGE

 

 

With over 10,000 vintage cocktail-related items in stock, The Hour has one of the most extensive curated collections of vintage barware and cocktail glassware available in today’s marketplace.  We have been collecting these items for more than 25 years, and opened our doors to the public in 2009.  We purchase our pieces solely from antique markets, estate sales and at auctions (we are not licensed to buy directly from individuals, nor are we licensed to appraise).  We take great pride in presenting the very best in vintage cocktail ware and in sharing our extensive knowledge about our vintage cocktail pieces.  The Hour only sells vintage items that are attributable to known manufacturers and designers of the past or that we know, because of their style, are attributable to the 20th Century.  Many of our vintage pieces are signed by designers or include the manufacturer’s hallmark.

We are very selective when purchasing our vintage barware and glassware and only sell mint or near mint quality items in usable condition.  Since our items are not new, we find that a certain minimal amount of age-related wear is appropriate.  The Hour will not sell any items that have chips, nicks, cracks or other structural defects unless noted in our description.  We only sell these “imperfect” items if they are truly rare and collectible in nature. 

If you have any questions about our vintage items or find that we have misrepresented any of our vintage goods, please contact us.  In addition, our on-line presence only represents a portion of our extensive vintage inventory.  If you do not see something on our website that fits what you are looking for, please feel free to contact us. Our highly knowledgeable staff takes great pleasure in matching your needs and your style with our large and growing inventory. 

OUR BACKGROUND

The Hour was named after a book of the same title written by Bernard DeVoto in the 1950s that showcased America as the true birthplace of the cocktail.  The first cocktail store of its kind, we have always believed in the importance of the cocktail presentation.  We believe the glass matters.  We believe the bar tools matter.  We believe shaking and pouring should be done with flair and in your own personal style.

For inspiration, we look to the craftsmanship and artistry of the past.  From Prohibition through the Mid Century, home entertaining was all about style.  Great attention was paid to details, from food and drinks offered to how they were artfully presented.  Glassware ranged from elegant platinum edged coupes to modern and colorful designer glassware.

Drinks and food were plentiful at cocktail parties and served with panache.  Cocktails were shaken in front of guests in elegant silver plate or sleek chrome shakers or stirred in tall mixing glass pitchers embellished with modern designs.  Drinks were commonly served in small glassware.  By using small glasses, refills were part of the flow of the party causing hosts to interact more frequently with their guests.  In addition, by using small glasses, hosts would follow the "Rules of Three".  The best and easiest cocktails were mixed using three ingredients, contained three ounces, and were consumed in three sips to be enjoyed properly chilled.

Likewise, cocktail food was served on stylish platters and bowls.  Not everything matched in barware or glassware, which added to the art of the cocktail party and also added to the party fun.  In fact, Couroc, a maker of black resin trays with whimsical designs, had a slogan that stated: “Any tray can serve a drink.  Only Couroc can start a conversation.”

For the modern host, home entertaining is revisiting these traditions of the past.  Home bartending is about expressing one's self and personal style.  We truly believe that by incorporating the artistry of cocktail items from the past, our vintage collection encourages sophisticated flair for today’s cocktail hour.