This old piece of barware is called The Lawrence Tap and it was patented by William and Richard Bentley in 1876. The nickel plated tap was to be driven into the bottle cork of an effervescent beverage. At that point a single serving of the beverage could be had by turning the knob of the tap on and off and the remainder of the beverage would retain its effervescent quality. Of course a bar would need several of these to accommodate the different beverages in stock. Some of the beverages listed include; koumiss (a fermented dairy product), champagne, soda and ale. This was manufactured by The Theo. Ricksecker Co. of New York. Most of this information and more is written is on the paper label on the original oak box or on the tap itself. The label on the inside of the lid is advertising Ricksecker’s Soap product plus it has a suggestion for remedying problems with the tap. I have shown a copy of the patent drawing in the photos for interest.
The tap measures about 4 1/8” long and about 1/½” wide. It appears to be in very nice condition with minor wear. The top does have dent wear indicating that it was tapped into a cork on several occasions. The knob turns readily and I assume it would probably work as well as it ever did but I over no guarantee for its functionality. The box measures about 4 5/8” by 1 7/8” by 1 5/8”. The hinges and clasp are in working condition. The outer label is torn and stained. The inside and bottom of the box is also stained and so is the inside label.
The pictures are not shown at actual size. Please refer to the description for actual measurements.
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