It’s called the Anthora cup. Who knew it had a name? It was so omnipresent in New York delis, so much a part of the continuum that it is hard to imagine it had a beginning. If you’ve ordered a cup of coffee from a New York deli in the last 40 years, or if you’ve watched an episode of any iteration of Law & Order, you’ve seen the cup. It’s designer, Leslie Buck, a New Yorker who also had a home in Delray Beach, died Monday at 87. Here is his obitiuary in the New York Times.
The azure blue cup with a white drawing of a Grecian urn (known as an amphora — the name was mispronounced by Buck) and the words “We are happy to serve you” sold by the hundreds of millions annually. Ceramic versions of the cup have been sold in souvenir stores for years; it was so much a part of the city’s persona. But no, Buck did not receive any royalties for the design.
The obituary doesn’t give any details of Buck’s last wishes, but if his ashes aren’t placed in a Grecian urn, there is no justice in this world.