The History Behind the Pot De Crème Cup

The History Behind the Pot De Crème Cup
Photography by Tanya L. Cooper

Pot de crème cups were originally made by a number of European companies. From the mid-1700s to the early 1900s, some of the finest examples came from Sèvres, Meissen, Wedgwood, and Worcester. Determining the designed use of these original containers can be as difficult as locating them. Predating the dessert, the pot de crème container was a lidded cup used for holding hot gravy and was called a pot à jus. Cups of a similar size were used for hot chocolate, but these often had two handles. To add to the confusion for collectors, the English drink called syllabub was also served in small containers but typically distinguished itself by having a spout. True pot de crème cups are single-handled and always lidded.

The History Behind the Pot De Crème Cup
Photography by Tanya L. Cooper

The best places to look for the tiny treasures are antiques stores, auction houses, and online. The older and pristine sets including the matching tray can bring a dear price. There are newer sets available that serve the same purpose for those who want to try the dessert without starting a true collection.