Shaken Not Stirred

Friday, when I was leaving to take the middle Blandings boy to basketball practice, Mr. B asked me if I could stop at the hardware store and pick up more Christmas lights. Of course. Be right back.
Two hours later I arrived, lights in hand. “I got side tracked.” I had made a quick stop at Mission Road Antique Mall. There had been some vintage seltzer bottles at Suzanne Cooper’s booth at the amazingly low low price of $38. I’d seen them last week and could not get them out of my head.

I ran like a crazy reality show contestant to her space at the back of the mall. Still there. Hooray. As I meandered back to the front I saw two vintage shakers, both at great prices, and I thought they might all be a happy trio, a merry menage. Arms full (the seltzer bottle is heavy) I made my way back to the desk. “Are you finished shopping?” Well, come to think of it, maybe not.

While browsing, I happened upon a charming ruby glass shaker and matching glasses. As I lifted the shaker from the shelf it slipped from my grasp and crashed to a million pieces at my feet. The base remained, presenting a scary and jagged edge. I gathered as many shards as I could and carried the corpse to the desk. I had a brief image of tripping on the stairs and impaling myself on the shaker, a flash of an unfortunate antique dealer having to tell my husband of my death by ruby glass. I can’t help it; I’m wired that way.

Fortunately, my fate was nothing worse than having to stand at the desk and confess my clumsiness. The men behind the counter blanched when I explained that six glasses remained, orphaned, no longer a “set” but just six small glasses desperate for a home. I made amends, but we all felt the despair of the tragic situation.
There was nothing left to do but go home and mix myself a good strong drink.
I hate to talk money, but there was one more seltzer bottle at Suzanne’s booth when I was there; it may be there still if you are interested. Images of London-based architect and designer Philip Wagner’s Sussex cottage from the Perfect English Cottage by Ros Byam Shaw; photography by Jan Baldwin. Look closely and you will see that Wagner has quite a collection of shakers and seltzer bottles.
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27 thoughts on “Shaken Not Stirred

  1. oh poor you. Did he make you pay for the broken one? I am amazed that I, with my clumsiness, have not smashed dozens of precious trinkets in my life. It must be very stressful running one of those glassy shops !

  2. When we had our wine and spirit shop, we had a whole collection of them as part of our decor — alas, we sold them all — I do wish I had kept just one (we bought them all at one time for much less $$$ than you paid!)

    However, we do have our cocktail shakers at the ready — for our six o'clock martini!

  3. Were you a member of the "thespians" – I went from smiling to frowning back to smiling as I read this little episode. I could see it being a huge hit on tv – my kind of reality show.

  4. Great finds! Wish I lived closer. I would snatch the last bottle.

    Funny story. Glad you were ok and the dealer was not upset about the mishap.

  5. We're all relieved you left the building unscathed and with such great finds. I love the image of the shakers and seltzer bottle against the red! Perfect for the dream house and the holidays. I can hear Sinatra in the background.

  6. Glad (well kind off, bear with me) it happened to you! See, all these years I have laboured under the impression that I am the ONLY one in the universe who suffered these kind of MISHAPS?

    Bad about the set though!

  7. Sorry about the mishap, but I loved the tale. The new bottles look wonderful against the shocking pink (?) or coral (?) wall with the burl wood tray and antique marble. Looks like Christmas is settling in. Have a Merry One.

  8. Those shakers are absolutely swell! I too dropped something at a store the other day- alas, it was only a box of chocolate fudge at Fresh Market. Picking up pieces of candy is not as deadly as shards of glass!

  9. * Wow! I have just happily found a long-lost "COHORT in shopping" (!), as "I got side-tracked" is one of the biggest "problems" in MY life!!!…

    … Funny…Not too long ago (altho it certainly was NOT the FIRST time!), while in a beautiful shop, I gently grabbed my husband's arm and said "Oh, honey, isn't this just wonderful?!?!"~~~ and HE replied "It certainly IS good-looking…. where do you think we should put it, Sweetheart?"~~~~ The VOICE wasn't FAMILIAR, tho!… When I turned around it was a man I'd NEVER SEEN BEFORE IN MY LIFE~~~ GRINNNG!!! We both chuckled!!! (Seemed HIS wife did that alot, too!)…So much for getting "side-tracked"!!!

    Soooo, "Enquiring minds want to know"…did you use the breakage as an "excuse" to purchase the matching 6 red glasses, girlfriend????????

    The shakers are terriffic~~~ tray is FAB!!!

    Linda in AZ *

  10. Mrs B….you are priceless, and I bet Mr B has heard a hundred times " I'll be back in a few" and then two hours later….. Beautiful shopping treasures in spite of the mishap!

  11. Love your finds and the trio looks wonderful! I inherited a fabulous seltzer bottle and have looked all over town to find the cartridges so I can actually use it! Does anyone know where to buy them or do they still exist?

  12. Great find with the selzer but sorry to hear about the shaker! Your grouping, however, is quite perfect.

    Hope you ammends weren't too substantial- knock on wood, I've not done that yet, but I'm quite frankly amazed I haven't knocked something over.

  13. I wish my trips to the Stirling Mitre 10 were this fruitful Patricia! You share your seltzer bottle love with Son #4. When he's not under his beloved 1982 Ford trying to stop the flow of half the world's oil supplies onto the driveway, he's out hunting down seltzer's. His collection is awesome, all lined up on the mantle in his bedroom. I'm not sure how we got him, but he'll be delighted to know he shares the same passion as the stylish Mrs. B!
    Millie ^_^

  14. OOOOh I done stuff like that! I love vintage cocktail shakers. They each have a unique personality of their own and when you see a few of them displayed together with vintage barware it's pretty impactive..too bad the red glasses couldn't work somewhere. Enjoyed the read!

  15. I miss my seltzer bottle. It died. Which is probably just as well since there was always one Harpo wannabe at the party.

    Had to walk away from six sterling julep cups at my local antiques mall just yesterday. But, at $150/each, it wasn't that difficult.

  16. …meant to say that I giggled at the 'antique dealer having to tell my husband of my death by ruby glass' I am I'm wired that way too!

  17. Ouch. I broke something a few weeks ago but was lucky that it was a $2 item in Sally's. Still, I felt like a bull in a China shop.

    The shakers look awesome! I'll be right over…

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