Collectors of hand painted ceramic pottery all boast about the many beautiful patterns available in Polish Pottery. And that is true. But there are also some unique shapes that we only find in Polish Stoneware.
One of these unique hand painted ceramic mugs is the Loop Handled Soup Cup, also known as a “Soup Scoop.” They are unique, but also functional and lots of fun to use. A nice assortment of these just arrived in the shop, so we thought it would be fun to tell you about them.
These large cups are great for soups, chilis, cereal, oatmeal and even ice cream. They can also serve lattes, coffee, hot chocolate, and other beverages. They are wonderful in the morning with oatmeal and a helping of blueberries on top. Holding a hefty 16 ounces these cups will accommodate a nice size serving of your favorite stew.
The handles are big enough to accommodate everyone’s fingers, even a burly lumberjack. We were asked recently how one keeps their handles from breaking. Well, the answer is that it’s just as sturdy as the rest of the cup. Despite their appearance, the handles are not fragile.
We’ve heard a couple of different folk tales about the origin of this unique shape. We don’t know how true they are, but they are interesting and fun to tell.
The first is that miners used them. Poland has many coal mines, along with a few salt and copper mines. The story goes that miners would take a soup cup in this shape, but made of tin, into the mine with them every day. The large looped handle allowed them to hook it on their belt, and carrying the cup was “hands free.”
Another story has its origins at the end of World War II. At that time, all of Poland, and especially Warsaw was ravaged with the effects of the war. When the German and Russian armies left, the citizens were finally free to assimilate and would gather in the town square.
At that time, there was very little food to be had, so everyone that could brought vegetables to contribute to a community soup. They brought potatoes, onions, carrots, or whatever they had. To eat the soup, people used a cup, similar to our Loop Handled Soup Cup to dip into the large pot to get their portion. That was the meal for the day.
We don’t know the how true these folk tales are. One thing we do know is that this is a wonderful, unique shape offered only in Polish Stoneware. Our shop’s owner Cindy has some of these in her personal collection and they are among her favorite pieces. If you know any additional historic information about this fun and unique shape, please comment and share your knowledge.