4 March 2021

The Silver Baby Cup

When I was an infant an aunt gave my mother a silver baby cup engraved with my initials, and Mother let me use it which left it banged up, teethed on, and thus all the more charming as a memento. So when my friends David and Sandy had their first kid, Casey, about 25 years ago, I had a silver cup engraved for her. Then, last year she got married and just the other day had a daughter, Hazel. And since I’d got a cup for her, I could hardly fail to get one for her daughter.

I remembered that I’d got Casey’s at the Tiffany department in Macy’s, so I Segwayed back there to get one for Hazel. Since I knew where I was going and exactly what I wanted, this was going to be a breeze.

Not liking to walk an inch more than I have to, I stopped at the information kiosk just inside the front door, where I got the first alarm signal. When I told them I wanted to buy a Tiffany baby cup, they didn’t seem to understand. So I explained, which didn’t help. Then a new one of ’em walked up; and even though she didn’t know what I was talking about either, led me down the escalator to a section that seemed to sell jewelry, and turned me over. She’ll help you.

Well, she also acted like she’d never heard of a silver baby cup. Am I speaking Esperanto or something? But then she picked up on “Tiffany” and said that they were across the street. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat!

So I rode back up the escalator, went outside, and rode the Segway across Union Square to a store that had “TIFFANY” emblazoned on the front. I locked the Segway up and walked inside, where I immediately felt rather underdressed in my tennis shoes, levis, and army field jacket with a pack on my back and a helmet under my left arm. But let me tell you, dressing like that sure does get you prompt service in Tiffany’s. A lady sprang at me before I’d covered the fifteen feet to the first counter.

I told her I wanted to get a silver baby cup like I’d bought some years ago at the Tiffany counter in Macy’s, and she instantly produced a brochure for me to choose from. At last I’d found someone who knew what a silver baby cup was, and better yet would sell me one.

Gasp. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought about inflation. A lot has changed in twenty-five years, particularly the prices of silver baby cups. The Tiffany selection now starts at $500.00. Why in hell was I expecting the price to still be a hundred dollars or so like the last time? I thanked her politely, muttered that I needed to budget this purchase, and fled.

Riding back home on the Segway I figured out that the reason nobody at Macy’s could understand me was not my accent but rather that I had bought the previous cup there before most of the current clerks were born. At that time, Macy’s had a Tiffany counter that would have closed when Tiffany opened its store on Union Square. I can also speculate that it is no longer fashionable for the middle class to give new-born children silver baby cups, so that’s why they didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked for a such an item.

Back home I went online and found a source for the baby cups that offered them from various makers whose names I recognized, folks like Reed & Barton, etc.

I found one from Gorham for $150, and even with the tax, engraving, and shipping I escaped for under $200. Hazel’s worth it.

Late note: Please either leave a comment here or email me to let me know whether giving silver baby cups was/is common in your area. Thanks.

Meanwhile, here’s Zuni’s side door on Market St.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment