Anchovy Paste Pot & Free Cold Cream Pot


Burgesses Genuine Anchovy Paste Pot with Lid.   

You can chose a short text or a long one:

Short text:

Anchovy paste was much loved by the Victorians.  Here is a Victorian anchovy paste pot (empty).  Free cold cream jar included – free – gratis – for nothing. We have included it in our Royal section as the coat of arms would indicate that it was 'by Royal Appointment.'

The longer version starts here:

The Anchovy.  This is a small fish of the herring, pilchard and sprat family. It’s Latin name (which comes from the Greek) is Engraulis encrasicholus which means ‘infused with bile’ (expect you are glad we told you that!). It was named in this way because of its strong slightly bitter flavour. The anchovy is generally found in shoals in the Mediterranean, up to the Baltic and also in the Atlantic.. We suspect it is also found elsewhere but our source is one J.T.Cunningham whose ‘Anchovies in the English Channel’ was written in the late 19th century and we suspect he may not have had the full story at his fingertips. Mr Cunningham’s other - perhaps better-known - works include ‘The Renal Organs of Patella’ and ‘Tealia tuberculata (cock): a study in Synonomy’ …. But we digress………

Mr Cunningham discovered that anchovies were to be found in English waters.  Indeed he records that one had been found in 1834 lurking among a load of sprats in Durham market.  This anchovy he tells us, may be seen in the Newcastle Museum.  This is where we at Cybergrot appeal to the good citizens of Newcastle.  Please visit said museum and confirm that the anchovy is still on view.  If it is not, you should ask to see it, and if you get a negative response you should ask what the de-accession policy of the museum is.  Please let us know the results.  This is very important to us.  

Back to our main theme.  Mr Cunningham having established that anchovies could be caught in some numbers in the waters of southern Britain went to considerable trouble – including a letter to the Times - to persuade fish warehouses to stock the local product rather than import it. He ‘wrote to Messrs. Burgess and Son, the Strand, London, who supply the English market with the most esteemed anchovies and anchovy preparations. They replied that if I sent them some English anchovies they would report on them.  Accordingly I sent them a few ……. And they reported that such fish would be perfectly useless to them for any of their manufactures.’ 

Not to be deterred, the indomitable Mr Cunningham then called at the Burgess warehouses and confronted them, only to be told that the firm imported all their anchovies from Gorgona (- a small Tuscan island - don’t go rushing off there – it houses a large prison and visiting is made difficult) preserved in brine and they had not found the size and flavour of the Torquay anchovies equal to those of the Gorgona fish.  Poor Mr Cunningham all that effort to no avail.

We are throwing in a free cold cream jar (with lid) with this lot – okay this has a small chip, but what’s a small chip between friends eh?  Fish and chip you might say.  And it crossed our minds that you could fill these jars with anchovy paste (it is still available) and cold cream and give them away as Christmas presents.  And if you decide to fill the cold cream pot with anchovy paste and vice versa that is entirely up to you.  We take no responsibility for the outcome.

P. S.  ...those of you keen on small fish may like the fossil dapalis macrurus elsewhere on this site

P.P.S  ……..and for those of a literary turn of mind:

‘Arthur…… repaired to his mother's room, where Mr Casby and Flora had been taking tea, anchovy paste, and hot buttered toast. The relics of those delicacies were not yet removed, either from the table or from the scorched countenance of Affery, who, with the kitchen toasting-fork still in her hand, looked like a sort of allegorical personage; except that she had a considerable advantage over the general run of such personages in point of significant emblematical purpose.’ Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens (1855-1857) - Book 2 - Chapter 23

Anchovy Paste jar diameter about 3½ inches – good condition for age.

Cold Cream jar diameter about 2½ inches. One chip, lid discoloured, slightly crazed (aren’t we all?)

Two for the price of one and you still think this expensive?  Come and have an arguement in the Manager's Office - you never know - you might win!

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