“Hi…just some info for you.
The boxed cups have been valued at $300 a set from an auction valuer.
Thought this may be of interest to you to know what full sets are worth if in perfect condition. 😁” – Anna
I recently received the above email from Anna. She had read an article I had done on “Film Cups” and written to me asking if I knew how much they cost since she owned a box herself. I informed her that I had no clue but since they are slightly naughty and kind of out-there, it can’t be much.
Oh! How wrong was I?
Now, it’s not exactly a fortune that I’ve made, because let’s face it, if that were true, I’d be somewhere in Bora Bora right now typing this – I am not, just to make it clear.
I do remember paying something around 20 Euros for the whole box of 6 cups sometime in the early 2000s, so at $ 300 it’s a nice little profit no doubt.
Also, if I would have titled the article as “Making a few dollars off naughty souvenirs” there’s a good chance you would have skipped it altogether, so here’s your lesson number one in Click Bait Marketing, and it’s for free, but I do accept comments as gratitude.
Seriously though, who knew there was money in naughty souvenirs?
I still have them, hidden – from the kids and the wife – in the depths of some almirah in the basement and I think I’m too embarrassed to go out and sell them – apparently not embarrassed enough to write about them here. I haven’t used them till date and considering they are worth something now, don’t plan on taking the risk either.
Going back to how I came to possess the mysterious little cups, I can never forget the multicultural setting of it all. Here I was, an Indian, with my friends who are Finnish and Swiss, in Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol, Spain, eating at an Asian restaurant and picking up these Japanese film cups.
Don’t get impatient. I know you are wondering what the big hullaballoo is over these cups?
What tickled my fancy – there’s always tickling involved in anything naughty, you know that don’t you? Stop smirking, people are looking at you funny – about these cups was that besides the somewhat pretty cool “Oriental” design on the outside, it held a semi-transparent “marble” on the inside. Initially, it reminded me of that coffee mug with a cow in it, and as you drink from it, the cow becomes visible – I have that too by the way, but these pottery show film cups were a different story altogether.
There is some debate over whether the cups are Japanese or Chinese in origin. If memory serves me right, we were eating in a Chinese restaurant, but there was a conversation about having Sake in these cups, so it’s quite possibly a Japanese invention.
I’m getting there, hold on to your pants.
The story goes, as told to me, that when men (being men) would want to have a little fun while at a party, at someone’s house, or at a place where a person is expected to be respectable, they would use these cups for their drinks.
To an average eye, these are regular drinking “glasses” with a plain and homey look, but once a clear liquid is poured in them, say Sake, the little glass marble in the middle, like magic, displays a photograph that is “adult” in nature, to say the least.
Kinky, Kitsch, and Kinda cool all rolled into one.
There is, however, a small design flaw; say if your wife were to wash the dishes – I’m not saying she should, but let’s assume you passed out from all the fun and giggling from the previous night and she picks them up – and pours water in the cups… imagine her shock.
The moral of the story is that whenever you plan on using the film cups, make sure you have the couch ready too.
Now, since I have the cups, and they seem to be getting costlier and hard to find day by day, I think I’ll let them be for the time being. Maybe, in a few years, someone else will message me and inform that these pottery cups are worth $3000, –
One can dream, right?
Till then, the very thought that I have something so naughty and exclusive in the house is a good enough reason to occasionally have a private laugh, and then again, the show cups do make for a fun conversation starter with friends – too risque with strangers I would say.
And of course, a special thanks to Anna, wherever in the world you are, for informing me about the film cups.