The Curious Case of the Gold Cocktail Shaker

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 10 Replies

The design for the Gold Stripe Cocktail Shaker was based closely on a shaker that Pottery Barn designer Tony was gifted by his grandmother, Phyllis. “It has a lot of personal and sentimental meaning to me. It’s a family piece that my grandparents had and was actually gifted to me. The cocktail shaker is a more ephemeral piece that is striking and has that elegance that I really wanted to bring to the brand.”

The shaker was gifted to Phyllis in 1937 as a wedding gift and became a cherished family object that Tony remembers from his grandparents’ home. Over the years, the shaker took on special meaning, and became synonymous with Tony’s grandparents’ love story and his memories of the couple.

When imagining the new design for the Gold Cocktail Shaker, Tony relied on memories of his grandmother’s original shaker. “I can see my grandmother actually washing it, and every time it went into the sink and got washed after a party, a little of the gold is missing, and that adds to the distressing of the piece, which makes it more special. It has that patina that Pottery Barn is about. It’s the celebration of the imperfection that is seen here that really makes sense for the brand and that’s why, when I brought this to Pottery Barn, I thought it would be a great thing to replicate, on top of all the historical relevance it has for me.”

The resulting shaker has a vintage-inspired glamour that will withstand the test of time — just as Tony’s grandparents’ cocktail shaker has held up through decades of gatherings and libations.

The Gold Cocktail Shaker is a perfect holiday present for those loved ones in your life, whether they’re family in name or in spirit. We suggest gifting it with a bottle of your favorite vodka and vermouth, and then lingering after the present has been opened for the official first cocktail mixing. Cocktails, anyone?


10 thoughts on “The Curious Case of the Gold Cocktail Shaker

  1. Jennifer Ryan

    Tony, I knew your Grandmother Phil. I had the pleasure of getting to know her in Sewickley, PA, when I was dating my husband,(your cousin, Tom Ryan). One of the most lovely women I have ever met! She was just a darling. Anyway, I can’t even believe my eyes, but when I see this shaker I picture their Italian Family entertaining and enjoying family and holidays. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story and tribute to your amazing family.

  2. Tom Ryan

    Tony, I can see Aunt Phyll and Uncle Tony smiling in heaven right now! Thank you for bringing your memories and theirs to life. I am ordering one ASAP! Tom Ryan

  3. Helena Ryan

    Tony, Thank you for honoring your Grandparents. Aunt Phil was my father’s only sister. I am your Dad’s first cousin. I have many stories to share about your Grandmother. I loved her very much! God Bless you! Helena Ryan

  4. Lorrie Werkmeister

    Hi Cousins! This is Lorrie Werkmeister, Patty’s daughter and Frank and Regina’s granddaughter..anyway…..I am thrilled to see that Tony designed this piece and honored Aunt Phil and Uncle Tony! I miss Aunt Phil a lot and I too HAVE to have one! I have already placed my some for gifts! Thanks Tony for bringing this little piece of them to all of us! <3

  5. Patty Trenga Lynn

    Hi Tony, Our whole family loved your grandmother. I am so pleased that even some of our grandchildren were able to spend time with her and enjoyed her company. She was special to my Dad, Frank, being she was his only sister. Even though she told me often that her brothers always teased her and she had to iron all their shirts,they were a close knit family. Dad would phone her, tell her he was her boyfriend and proceed to asked her out for a date. She would giggle when she told me these stories. The angels in Heaven are now enjoying her company. What a wonderful tribute to you Grandma & Grandpa. Thank God for your talents.

  6. stephen visakay

    The Tony designed Cocktail Shakers will live on and be treasured long after we are all gone. They are the collectibles of tomorrow. They will be passed to future generations and live on in showcases, and on mantels, treasured examples of our cultural cocktail lifestyle today. Some cocktail shakers will sleep in closets or attics for years and years, waiting to be recalled to life, shaken to life with ice cubes and gin and become once again a symbol of the good life.


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