Popular categories of egg cup patterns include Early American pattern glass and Victorian table glass. Early American egg cup patterns feature stripes and swirls with extreme detailing. For example, one Early American egg cup pattern, the Blackberry, has raised inscriptions of blackberry branches with leaves and berries in great detail. Victorian table glass egg cup patterns have more abstract and geometric shapes. For instance, the Beaded Swirl pattern is simply swirls of glass around the bottom of the egg cup.
Egg cups are small cups designed to hold an egg cooked in its shell. Generally used by European aristocrats, egg cups are associated with formal breakfast dining.
Egg cups were first used in Pompeii in 3 A.D. Archaeologists found mosaics in the city ruins that depict people dining with egg cups. The next known period of egg cup use was the Elizabethan 1600s, when upper class citizens would use egg cups made from pure silver.
Egg cups gained popularity in the late 1700s after King Louis XV used them almost every day. Louis XV frequently amused his followers by “beheading” the egg in his eggcup, or cutting the top off with one slice.
As of 2016, egg cups are mostly collectible items.