Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake Heirloom

I love this little cup. Why???



It’s not marked by its maker, it is full of crazing inside and out, is yellowed with age and is well worn. You can see just little hints of the gold trim on the handle and along the top edge.

The cup measures only 2 7/8 inches high and the base is only 2 1/4 inches wide.

The scene is from the English nursery rhyme, “Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake,” which dates back at least to the mid 1700s.

The version of that nursery rhyme on this cup is one I hadn’t heard before:

Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake
Baker’s man!
So I will, Master, as fast
as I can:
Pat it, and prick it, and mark
it with T.
And bake in the oven for Tommy and me.

This version appeared in The Real Mother Goose, published in 1916 and the cup was likely made about the same time.

The cup was a baby gift to my father-in-law, Edward Earl Stufflebean, who was born in 1917, so it is just about a century old. It looks pretty good for its age.

I don’t know that this would have been the most practical gift for a child – thinking about my own son’s tendency to hurl food and other items from his highchair to the floor – but I imagine Ed was allowed to use it when he got a bit older, maybe around 5 years old.

Surprisingly, there is only one tiny chip anywhere on it and that is on the top rim, directly above the baker’s head. It’s visible in the first photo.

This adorable little cup certainly has little monetary value, but it is priceless in terms of sentiment.

We are lucky to be the keepers of many family treasures.

One thought on “Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake Heirloom”

  1. What an adorable little cup, Linda. It really looks like a little pitcher, just big enough for a little milk in your dad’s porridge, maybe? It is certainly a treasure, crackles and all!

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