Rooster cocktail shakerBy Mark Chervenka
Rooster cocktail shaker
another $1,000+ Deco shaker reproduced
Another classic Art Deco cocktail shaker was reproduced, the figural silverplated rooster originally made by Wallace Brothers around 1928.
Stephen Visakay, author of Vintage Bar Ware and cocktail shaker expert, told ACRN that the original shakers sell for $900-$1,500. The reproduction cost $55 through a mail order catalog in 1999.
Originals are always marked "Copyright USA WB". The reproduction rooster is marked "Restoration Hardware". But considering the price difference between new and old, the new mark may be removed. Also be alert for the possibility of the new mark simply being covered by felt or cork. Because marks can be tampered with, it's always best to base your test of age on construction details.
For example the bodies of originals have a hand-hammered (dimpled) surface. Bodies on the reproductions are perfectly smooth. Original shakers measure 14½″ high. New shakers are substantially shorter measuring only 12¾″.
Handles on both new and old are formed by the rooster's "tail feathers". The original handle is more complex and forms a complete circle at the top of the handle. The reproduction handle is much simpler and ends only in an open curve at the top, not a complete circle like the original.
The Wallace rooster was the second high-value Deco shaker to be reproduced in 1999. A reproduction figural penguin shaker–originally made by Napier and worth up to $1,400 if authentic–was brought out in January 1999. Both the rooster and penguin shakers were sold by Restoration Hardware, a catalog and retail firm.
Special thanks to Stephen Visakay.