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Kaufmann & Strauss Co.   'Victorian Waitress'
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Stock Catalog Page
Date:  Pre-pro
Type:  Plate & Inverted Pie
Value:  $$$ to $$$$
Condition & Brewer Dependent

Confirmed Brewer used Stock Trays

Non-Beer Related & Non-Tray Uses

This one eluded us as a stock tray example for the longest time, perhaps because the second confirming example is Canadian (where we have been less focused).  Or maybe it is because we have seen so few of these and so far apart that it did not register.  In any case, here we have yet another example of a K&S stock design with only two known different advertisers. 

Despite the title, we've come to the belief that the young woman depicted is actually meant to represent a domestic servant instead of a waitress.  As indicated in our write up of other stock designs, female waitresses were highly uncommon in the pre-war era when women were generally not allowed in drinking establishments.  In fact, recent research reveals that wait staff of any kind would be uncommon as bars typically didn't have tables and drinks were ordered directly at the bar (with bartenders almost exclusively being men). 

Her attire (referred to a livery) appears to be a fanciful version of what a domestic servant during the Edwardian era to the upper class might wear.  The formality of  her livery (the collars and bow tie) might suggest an "evening livery" (versus a more mundane daytime livery) appropriate for a formal entertaining event.  Regardless, this is another example of advertising reflecting an upwardly mobile aspiration.  Similarly, her hair is styled in one of the formal Edwardian "up-do" style popularized at the time by Charles Dana Gibson's "Gibson Girls".
Jpeg Codec |
Edwardian Domestics
Gibson Girl
(Image Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this design relates to the tray she is carrying:

Bottle:  Somewhat unusually for K&S, the bottle shapes between the two known examples (Kuntz and Memphis) is
different, meaning that there was some degree of customization.  In the majority of K&S stocks where there are only two
different examples known we generally haven't seen this.  In fact, some of the ad text itself is often stock, meaning it's part
of the design and appears on all examples.  We don't have any insight into the potential date of these trays since Tennessee
didn't enact prohibition until 1919 and Kuntz, being Canadian, wasn't subject to it.  In addition, we have not been able to
ascertain whether the labels depicted were actual labels (or artistic license) as a way to establish a date range.  However, we
wonder if the customization of the bottle reflects an earlier production date when markets were larger and brewers were
less cost conscious and therefore willing to pay for such customization.

Labels:  Maybe the label collectors can help out on this one, but we have not been able to confirm that either the Kuntz or
Memphis examples depict actual labels.  In both cases, we've found labels that are fairly similar to what is depicted
Simon Linser Brewing Co.
Hamilton Brewing Association
Memphis Brewing & Malting Co.
but neither is an exact match for what appears on the respective tray.  Some of the elements (font, symbols, etc) appear to
be those used by the respective brewery at that time, but we cannot locate labels that match exactly.  However, this again
reflects a degree of customization to the design that not all K&S stocks have.

Size, Shape and Advertising Placement
The examples we've seen are 13" concave pies for Memphis and 13" convex pies for Kuntz.  The concave pie is
typical for K&S, but the convex is far less common, although not entirely unknown among their stock catalog.  The
rims are a bit unusual in that neither is one of the "typical" K&S colors (a blue/gray on the Memphis and an
orange/tan on the Kuntz).  Although not overly common, there are other examples (Rose Girl) where K&S used
gold text on the rim, but the double-highlighted (white and black) on light blue text of the Kuntz is unusual. 
Neither tray features ad text on the face other than what is printed on the label.

We've seen very few of these at auction and have limited data on price.  The few we have seen command good
prices - mid to upper triple figures for average condition and low four figures for better than average condition.