Collecting: Vintage Silver Baby Cups

I must have seen a display of vintage silver baby cups in a magazine many years ago that made me instantly obsessed with collecting them myself. Over several years, I have picked up enough for creating many different darling displays.Silver baby cups aren’t too hard to find, I’ve found them at thrift stores, flea markets, eBay (a great place to find multiples in lots) and have seen many on Etsy. I rarely ever find a Sterling Silver one, most are silverplate. I have a spending cap of $12 or less on any cup. Believe me, they’re out there. On Sunday, I found this Little Bo Peep cup nearly black from tarnish at the Alameda Flea Market for only $2.If you’re into collecting multiples of things like these, let your shopping friends and family know to keep an eye out for them, but be sure to mention the most you’re willing to spend.

When my cups are not on display, they are tucked into a shoebox to keep them from tarnishing. I love a collection that also has a practical purpose. I have used these cups so many ways. My favorite, of course, is for baby showers. By the photos above and below, you can tell they’d been boxed up after the shower with ribbons still attached. For one shower, I hung them from my light fixture with French ribbon and have also loaned them out to good friends for use as centerpieces clustered and filled with baby’s breath, (although, I never send out the sentimental ones that I couldn’t bear to loose.)They are gorgeous filled with dried hydrangeas.Here is my late grandpa’s Ralph’s pewter baby cup from 1911 with beautifully etched flowers.Some of my other floral cups that are so pretty.This unique pink enamel cup was being used as a scoop for vintage buttons sold by-the-bag at the local antique fair. The dealer was kind enough to sell it to me after the fair was over and most of her buttons sold.My favorite finds are those with names, initials or mongrams. Such pretty handles.I have two of my children’s baby cups that were gifts (not so vintage) and my husband’s sweet Sterling baby cup, (and to keep my husband feeling young, I’ll say that one’s not so vintage either.) Of course, his twin sister has the matching one. Even the clock face is engraved with the hands at the time of birth.I’ve tucked a baby photo of Bennett in his cup. I adore his little orange nose from eating so much carrot baby food. (That baby turns 15 this month!)Even the poor man’s aluminum baby cups are wonderuful to play with. (Little mushrooms from Meyer Imports.)Tell me about one of your favorite collections!

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56 Responses to Collecting: Vintage Silver Baby Cups

  1. #1 - Mama Magpie says:

    Wow! You really do have quite the collection!
    I have just started this year, and have 2 so far.

  2. #2 - Apron Thrift Girl says:

    I think my favorite collection has to be childrens picture books. Luckily it can be a very inexpensive hobby if I find the books at yard sales or library book sales. My favorite in the collection is The Flower Fairies. It was my grandmothers and is a very early edition. Your baby cups are so sweet, especially with the ribbon on them.

  3. #3 - erica@zunkychic says:

    I also have a small collection of these silver cups. I put them on display on a mirrored tray that I made with a few other silver plate goodies. I put tealights in the cups – they have such a soft, warm glow with the candles burning.

  4. #4 - Elaine A says:

    Hi Cathe –

    What a super collection. And I love all the ways you use them. For years I collected anything to do with Unicorns and then for some reason, about 2 years ago I stopped. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that my Unicorn statue horns kept breaking. My husband and son like to play balloon ball in the house. They think because its a balloon they are tossing back and forth it doesn't do any damage. The balloon doesn't, but they do! So I finally put everything away and maybe someday I'll take them out again, even with the broken horns – LOL!

    Elaine Allen

  5. #5 - Lululiz says:

    I can see why you love them so much, they are wonderful little objects.

  6. #6 - Monica says:

    What a charming collection! I would love to start my very own collection of silver baby cups 🙂 Years ago I collected old glass bottles and I have recently started to collect old hand written recipes.

  7. #7 - Mary Ann Jenkins says:

    What a sweet collection! I've been collecting Hobnail Milkglass for awhile now. I love the crisp white glass in such fun shapes!

  8. #8 - Linda says:

    I love these! I have my husband's, my son's and my daughter's. I should start searching for these. I do collect vintage bottles! I was collecting china figurines of children playing harmonicas…I have tooo many now!

  9. #9 - La Table De Nana says:

    You know what? They are fabulous.And I am glad they are yours.
    I would say they are in great hands.

  10. #10 - dancing_lemur says:

    What a great collection! I love anything silver (because I like to polish silver, because I am a freak), and I love how you use the cups in so many ways!

  11. #11 - Auntie Cake says:

    A beautiful collection Cathe. Thanks for sharing, and now I am going to be on the lookout also!
    Kate

  12. #12 - georgie says:

    Japanese glass fishing floats. I display them with the seashell collection. Can't pass up a bag of seashels at thrift shops or garage sales. Dad's collection of Bergling monogram/design books are a treasure that I love too.

  13. #13 - Amy @ Living Locurto says:

    I love the little mushrooms! So cute!

    I don't really collect anything in particular. I do really love 80's stickers and pretty China though. The smelly ones are the best. (that would be the stickers… not the plates:-)

  14. #14 - My name is PJ. says:

    This is fabulous! The collection is quite special and the ideas for display are so fresh!!! Rock Star!!

  15. #15 - BeckyM says:

    I do not collect anything, but reading your post makes me want to start colecting something!!!!

  16. #16 - laurie -magpie ethel says:

    Awesome, awesome collection. I have a few (including my kids as well) and have also used them to decorate for baby showers. Tied them onto the corners of the tablecloth outdoors. You have WAY more than me and some really, really great ones….love the one with the pink interior!

  17. #17 - Princess Danell says:

    THose baby cups are so pretty. Ok…I have a son who turned 15 in January named Bennett. Freaky! But isn't that an awesome name!

  18. #18 - Crafty Dawn says:

    Quality collection, I can't say I collect anything really! except stash for crafting but it is used therefore not collected for it's beauty (not in that way any way lol) I always wanted to collect crystal i love the stuff but too expensive to have.

    Thanx for shring yr collection

    Love Dawn xx

  19. #19 - Juliet A says:

    I collect dragons, but those are not really as special as your baby cups.

  20. #20 - Mona Lisa says:

    I collect kisses from my kids… 😉 Lovely collection. How can we send you one Baby cup ?

  21. #21 - dominique eichi says:

    All So cute !

  22. #22 - Kristy says:

    Very sweet!!!

  23. #23 - Cathe Holden says:

    Mona- You can start by emailing me! How exciting!!

    cathe@justsomethingimade.com

  24. #24 - My Life Under the Bus says:

    I LOVE baby cups and spoons too. I have all my boys and my own ! I use them as Christmas ornaments ! It is really nice to pull them out and all the boys look for their goodies.I have big red bows on everything. I am very jealous of Bo Peep !!!

  25. #25 - Tales From My Empty Nest says:

    What a sweet collection! I love all your baby cups. So precious!!! Thanks for sharing them with us. Love & blessings from NC!

  26. #26 - ArtSnark says:

    wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your collection. I have too many vices. Old postcards, photos, boardgames, hotelsilver

  27. #27 - Piddlin' Perfected says:

    Love your collection of baby cups. I collect little chairs. When a house guest comes, I pick out a chair according to his/her personality and put their name on it. "There's always a chair with your name on it at our house!"

    When they leave, my guests always leave a momento in their chair to remember them by, thus it's always reserved for them. It's been fun for the past ten years.

  28. #28 - julie says:

    What a lovely collection ~ and it's great that you not only collect and admire them, but you also use them for special occasions. I am a collector or all sorts of things ~ coincidentally, I just blogged about a collection of objects that serve as a self portrait:
    http://bricolage-julier.blogspot.com/2010/03/self-portrait-with-objects.html
    This is something I plan to do more of ~ it is a great way to document and admire the treasures one has and try to figure out why certain objects attract you.
    I've visited your blog many times ~ it is wonderful ~ thanks for all the inspiration!

  29. #29 - Molly @ The Creative Maven says:

    Those are so beautiful! I love the ones hanging from the chandy!

  30. #30 - That's Not My Age says:

    They look lovely hanging from the chandelier, nice idea. I have a collection of globes which is getting a bit out of hand, we're got about 30 and are running out of space! I have been meaning to blog about them and reading your post has really inspired me.

  31. #31 - Michelle Palmer says:

    Flow blue pieces… chipped, worn, crackled, weathered… LOVED!
    Such a great post!
    Love all that you do~
    Michelle

  32. #32 - gdyup says:

    Love your collection. I collect baby forks and spoons. I've made some necklaces out of the forks for gifts as friends. Turned out really cute. Still struggling with a cute way to display them but one day I'm sure I'll have an epiphany! Thanks for sharing!

    Tracey

  33. #33 - Kariane says:

    Oh Cathe, what are you doing to me?! I love all things old silver. I have been collecting silverware for my daily use for the past ten years. I love it and can't get enough. These baby cups are so great. Love them. I needed a new silver something to collect. That pink cup is a great find.

    I grew up going to the Alameda flea market. I would ride around in my old Radio Flyer, eating grapes. Wish I could go there now.

    Thanks for sharing your cups!

  34. #34 - myletterstoemily says:

    that little mushrooms forest is the
    cutest thing i have ever seen.

    for some reason, my daughter are
    goofy over mushrooms….that doesn't
    sound so good, does it?

    i mean the little ones you put in your
    landscaping.

  35. #35 - Anonymous says:

    I collect baby cups too! I started out with the ones I had for my kids. then one day at the thrift store i found two. I couldn't believe that anyone would get rid of theirs or their relatives baby cup! I am too sentimental i guess. Anyway, I have several now and I like to think that I am sending love to the original owner by keeping them safe.

  36. #36 - Cheryl Carey Bass says:

    Cathe, those are SO COOL! I didn't even know about such cups. What a fantastic thing to collect. I used to collect lighthouses, but after a while, I didn't have anywhere to put them all anymore. Besides, I got to be quite picky about the ones I wanted to own, yet others kept buying them for me. Every birthday, holiday, anniversary, whatever, it became the ONLY thing people would get me! So, finally, I packed them all up and they're in boxes in the garage. Sometimes I miss them, but more than anything I'd like to find them a good home, where someone else could love them just as much as I have.

  37. #37 - kaela says:

    Beautiful! I love everything you have done with them! If I were to ever begin a collection, no doubt it would be of this kind. Thanks for sharing!

  38. #38 - jen says:

    those are awesome! I'm not going to be able to not look for them from now on! you've made me want to collect them too!

  39. #39 - Little Lovables says:

    lovely! my mom still lhas ours. I'm sad now because my son broke both his and his brothers.

  40. #40 - Mitzi Curi says:

    What a great post, Cathe! I love the fact that you use your collection in various ways, instead of simply letting it sit gathering dust. I have many little obsessions that turned into collections…..Kewpie dolls, majolica pottery,red transferware,tin litho globes, and goofus glass are a few that come to mind.

  41. #41 - Stella says:

    I don't think these are so traditional in New Zealand, I can't recall seeing them anywhere, but they are so sweet! I have so so many collections, two favourites at the moment are vintage floral pillowcases (such beautiful fabric!) and children's encyclopedias from between 1950-1980, full of fantastic illustrations… There's also the teacup and retro drinking glass collections… I could write a list that lasts a loooooong time…

  42. #42 - Ali says:

    What a lovely collection. Your photos are gorgeous. I love the one showing off the handles.

  43. #43 - charlotte says:

    o, I have that last one…and many others including my own from the 50's….thoroughly dented from throwing it from my high chair. love these and all your clever ideas!

  44. #44 - Elaine Elwick Barr says:

    Cathe!! I love the mushroom cup!! Aahhh!!

    🙂

    I love to collect owls, old rubber stamps and office supplies, pitchers and jars…

    🙂

  45. #45 - {Bellamere Cottage} says:

    Adorable….what a wonderful collection.

    Warm blessings,
    Spencer

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  47. #46 - last minute lynn says:

    I, too, love baby cups and am not sure why. What have you found to be the best way to shine up the heavily tarnished ones? I have yet to find a product that does the job. Thanks.

  48. #47 - Helen-joe says:

    Now that the family has grown up we use our silver baby cups at Christmastime for sipping eggnog.

  49. #48 - sherry hosier says:

    i have a little bopeep cup ssterling silver i got when i was a baby and i am 70 years old. how much would my baby cup be worth.? it is tarnished some what.

  50. #49 - Kim says:

    I still have my baby cup with the original box from Community Silverplate. It’s almost as old as me, which is old. I display it with my mom’s silver tea pots and tray.

  51. #50 - Mary Marchese says:

    I noticed that you have some baby cups that are partly black. I bought one like that and polished all the black off. Is it better to leave it on so that the engraving shows up better? Or is it a matter of choice? Do you know how they were sold at the time they were made?

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  53. #51 - Eyes in the back of my head. says:

    I was expecting a new grandchild and decided to look on the internet for an antique silver-plated baby cup. I was so enthralled by the beauty of the antique cups that I cannot control myself and now I have enough for 20 or more grandchildren. Thank you for showing me different ways of displaying them.

  54. #52 - Teresa Mihaylov says:

    Hi Cathe! I love your ideas with baby cups! I have just finished polishing up my firstborn daughters baby cup- silver plated with Peter rabbit on front and her name on the back. It’s her 31st b-day and I was looking for something sweet to do with it and give to her…or I may just keep it! Love your ideas! With a photo and a pink bow maybe…?
    Thanks!

  55. #53 - Jamie says:

    I have inherited a baby cup, very tarnished, but I can see that it has nursery rhyme characters on it with the words ‘and if the rocking horse doesn’t run away with the chocolate cake’ on it. Any idea how much it’s worth or know anyone that would be interested in buying it?

  56. #54 - Lisa Shingleton says:

    Hello,

    I have my great aunts sterling baby cup with her name and date on it 1913.
    Would you be interested in purchasing it? Thank-yopu

    Sincerely,
    Lisa