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The use of enamel is over 2000 years old. The Egyptians used it on statues and golden objects. They knew that the use of enamel made the object last longer and and the hard surface was easier to clean.

The Kelts used this technique to make jewelry and the Romans used enamel on glass objects. The use of enamel went on for centuries and in the middle ages the French city of Limoges was the centre for the use of enamel on all kinds of ojects.

Much later enamel was used for everyday use on pots and pans etc.

Enamel is a mixture of quartz, feldspar the minearal borax and china clay. When this mixture is melted you can put it on an object and then heat it.

Between the late 19th century and early 20th century enamel commemorative beakers were issued in great quantities by various factories.

The first of these beakers was issued in 1896 by the then Bohemian firm of B.G. Gottlieb for the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

The firm Gottlieb was founded in 1880 in the town of BRNO and continued to be owned and run by the family until 1945.

They also produced helmets, kitchen utensils etc.

In the UK the first advert for enamel beakers appeared in 1897 for the Diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria by the firm of WM. Robinson ltd of Wolverhampton.

In the Netherlands the first enamel commemorative beakers were made in 1898 when Queen Wilhelmina was enthroned. Many of these were made by the firm Berk from Kampen.

Later more firms started to make enamel commemorative beakers. A tradition still going on today in the UK but not so in other countries due to high production costs and declining sales.

Here are some examples from our collection:

INFORMATION : Journal of the  Commemorative Collectors   Society 1991

More photos on our website photo albums Enamel beakers & British commemoratives


advertentie voor emaille bekers Diamanten jubileum Koningin Victoria 1897

advertisement for the enamel beakers made for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria 1897
emaille beker uit 1897 t.g.v het Diamanten jubileum Koningin Victoria

enamel beaker made for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria 1897
stempel op onderkant beker van de firma Berk uit kampen

stamp on bottom of beaker from the Dutch firm Berk Kampen


Emaille bekers inhuldiging Koningin Wilhelmina 1898

enamel beakers made for the enthronement of Queen Wilhelmina 1898
Bijzondere emaille beker gemaakt in 1913 ter herinnering aan 100 jaar Onafhankelijkheid en MonarchieEnamel Beaker 1813-1913 100 years of Dutch Monarchy and independence
zeldzame emaille beker gemaakt t.g.v de geboorte van prinses Juliana 1909
rare enamel beakers made to commemorate the birth of princess Juliana 1909


Emaille beker gemaakt t.g.v de inhuldiging van Edward als Prins van Wales 1911.

Enamel beaker made for the investiture of Edward Prince of Wales 1911
Lady Diana Spencer 1981
Lady Diana Spencer 1981