Shaving scuttle

Father’s Day is June 17th. Why not give your father a chance to do some old-fashioned shaving? Head to a flea market and buy Dad an antique scuttle mug. A scuttle holds shaving soap and a brush and keeps lather hot for a nice, old-school shave.

Scuttles were first used for shaving in the 1860s, when most homes did not have hot running water. They’re like traditional shaving mugs, but they have a wide spout on one side. They were called scuttles because their shape resembled that of a coal scuttle. The top of the shaving scuttle is a soap dish with drainage holes. A hard cake of soap was placed in the dish. Water was heated in a kettle and poured through the spout into the chamber below the soap. The shaving brush was dipped into the spout to soak in the hot water, then the brush was rubbed against the soap to whip up hot soapy lather. The result—an old-fashioned warm, wet, pleasant shave!

This English scuttle mug was sold along with two others for $300 at a Cowan’s auction in Cincinnati.

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