Monday, July 28, 2008

Antique Coffee Grinders for Coffee Connoisseurs

The 1870 Enterprise No. 3 antique coffee grinder sold on eBay for $870

If you have a flair for the extravagant, why are you using an inexpensive coffee grinder on that very expensive gourmet coffee you just purchased? With a Starbucks on every corner, and their top of the line coffee beans available in several supermarkets, don’t you think your house should be equipped with the most expensive grinder you could find? You won’t find these grinders in stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom’s or Neiman Marcus, however. You’ll find them in Antique Shops and at Farm Sales.

The home grinders rolled out around 1894, and even though they lasted for just a short time, they had a pronounced impact on daily living. Grinders were all but forgotten by the 1940’s, but the love for coffee has since then been renewed, and most people can’t get through a day without a cup. Since Starbucks came around, I believe in the 1980’s, coffee connoisseurs are no longer satisfied with making their daily brew from coffee already ground in a can.

So how expensive can antique coffee grinders run? These simple items have become very collectible, and people are paying top dollar for the rare ones. The Enterprise No. 12, with an eagle finial and a painted decal may bring over $5,000 today. Now, that should grind some serious coffee. And, there are others to watch for as well. I’ve talked about Griswold cast iron in past blogs, but did you know Griswold made a coffee grinder that is one of their most rare pieces? At one time, I had one of the largest collections of Griswold in the South, but I never found the coffee grinder.

The most popular grinders are the Enterprise grinders. The no. 9 will bring over $1,500 while the Enterprise Mfg. Co. Philadelphia grinder should net you a hefty $1,750 or more. You might have seen coffee grinders at sales you attended but never gave them a second thought. Even the small wooden ones can bring in a fair amount of money, if they have writing on them. Grinders with advertising written on them will be another plus for any grinder.

You just woke up and smelled the coffee. These grinders are real treasures. Keep your eyes open for these special items when you attend garage sales, estate sales and auctions. A collector will be glad you found one.

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  1. I have an Enterprise No 2 grinder that was given to me by a member of my church. Any idea what it's worth?

  2. If it is a double wheel and in excellent shape I saw one sell for a little less that $600.00