This will be the first of what will over time be a series of blog posts that focus on objects you are more likely to encounter at an antique store than while dining in the United States today. But, you never know, and it’s always best to be prepared.

So for today, I present this:

Looks like a tea cup, right?  But rotate it a little bit and you’ll notice that it has a second handle.

While it looks like it could be a nice tea cup for an ambidextrous person, it’s actually a bouillon soup cup. It is not used at formal dinners, but is more likely to be found at a luncheon or an afternoon tea. Or, at a wedding breakfast, according to the Edith B. Ordway’s The Etiquette of Today that was published in 1913.

This bouillon cup would be used for a soup that is clear, and drinkable. Any croutons, or other garnishes that are floating on top should be eaten first with a spoon. The soup itself is consumed by drinking it. If it wasn’t just a plain broth, any noodles or vegetables left behind can be eaten with a spoon.

Although I can’t find a reference to back up the claim, I have read that the second handle is there because broth would be fed to those who were ill or weak and the second handle made it easier for them to drink the broth with unsteady hands.

Given that having bone broth for a snack has been trending for a few years now, I can’t help but wonder if we might see the bouillon cup make a comeback!

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