How did you get started collecting?
My mother had a cocktail shaker in the china closet when I was a small child. It was the only shiny chrome item in there and I always had my nose up against the glass as she was scolding ”Get Away From There!!”
Years later I saw one just like it at an outdoor flea market for fifty cents. I took it home, shined it up and the following week went back and found two more. The collection soon took on a live and drive of its own.
How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?
I have de-acquisitioned part of the collection and now have only a few hundred, most of them in storage, but have my very favorites in two tower showcases in our living room.
Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?
Have one in my book on page 19 stamped 1904 that I love. And the last one I bought was on e-bay; a Farber Bros. Krome Kraft, glass and chrome that we will give away this July at Tales of the Cocktail. Last year we gave away in a free lottery, to all attending our symposium, over one thousand dollars in bar ware prizes. Same thing this year.
Which is your favorite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?
I have made many great finds in search for cocktail shakers, but like to tell the story of a treasure found at the Orangeburg N.Y. outdoor flea market. It was over twenty five years ago on a cold June morning. Focused on a cobalt blue cocktail shaker on the seller’s table, I never saw Nyack antique dealer Arlene Lederman also reaching for it. After a brief tug of war Arlene laughingly let me buy the shaker – and treat her to breakfast. It was the start of an ongoing excellent adventure that continues to this day. We live happily ever after in an Arts & Crafts cottage in Upper Grandview, New York. It’s the one with the white picket fence and red roses out front. And have a nightly ritual of shaking a martini before dinner, sometimes a few. As for the cobalt blue cocktail shaker, it sits in a place of honor. I never could sell it. After all, it helped me with the find and love of a life time: Arlene Lederman-Visakay.