A delicious punch bowl on its base full of margaritas. Photo by Tina McDuffie.
My mom’s punch bowl set with the base I found, filled with margaritas.

My interest in Anchor Hocking’s Early American Prescut (EAPC) began with my mother’s punch bowl set and a story she told me…

Sometime in the 1980s, I was thrift store shopping, when I ran across an item – probably a sugar bowl or creamer – that looked like it was the same pattern as my mom’s punch bowl set. Excited, I bought it for her.

She’d had that set ever since I could remember, often bringing it out for parties and gatherings. It looked so pretty with the cups hanging on hooks off the rim. She often made a punch with 7-Up poured over scoops of frozen sherbert. My mom also used the punch cups for pudding – pouring the hot pudding right into the cups and then setting them in the fridge to set.

When I brought her the item I’d found in the thrift store, she beamed. Then she told me the story. She had the whole set, boxes of it, given to her as wedding presents. Sadly, she never got to even open the boxes, because everything but the punch set had been stored at the house she and my dad were going to move into after their wedding and honeymoon. Someone broke in and stole all their wedding gifts!

Well, that story moved me and I determined to find as many pieces for her punch bowl set as I could to replace the ones that were so rudely stolen from her. So I started hunting for pieces at garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, and thrift stores. And my mom started hunting, too, now that she knew they were out there. We found a lot of creamers and sugar bowls – I remember that! But we also found some notable items.

I came across a weird V-shaped bowl a few years into our hunt. I couldn’t figure out what in the world anyone would use it for. It was awfully big and wide to make a good vase and as a bowl it was… different. Anyway, it matched her punch-bowl set, so I bought it. When I presented it to my mom, however, her face lit up. She immediately recognized it and turned it upside down when I handed it to her. When I looked puzzled, she laughed and said, “You found the base for my punch bowl!” I still didn’t understand what she meant, so she pulled out her punch bowl and placed it on top. It was gorgeous! It took my breath away.

Sometime later I ran across two double candle holders at a yard sale out in the boondocks. They were coated in an inch of dirt but cleaned up nicely with a lot of soap and water. I still don’t know why I thought they went with the punch set – they didn’t have the tell-tale star – but to me, they just looked right. The price was right – the owner had stuck them in a box to throw out after the sale so I got them cheap. When I gave them to my mom, she got really excited. She didn’t know there were candle holders!

It wasn’t until around 2004 after my mom gave me her punch set – along with the numerous other items she and I had added to the set over the years – that I finally did some research and discovered the real name of the “punch bowl set” pattern: Early American Prescut. I continued the hunt, now for my collection and my mom continued to hunt for pieces for me. She even found a complete Chip & Dip Set in a green box.

In 2018, I joined the Early American Prescut Collectors Facebook Group which allowed me to connect with other EAPC fans and learn more about this lovely and nostalgic pattern. It eventually led me to build this EAPC Knowledge Base.

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