Antique Sterling Salt and Pepper Shakers

Before matching salt-and-pepper shakers became popular in the late Victorian era, better households offered their guests salt cellars (or salts, as they were also known) and pepper casters at the dining table. The best examples of these objects were made out of sterling silver.

Salt cellars from the early part of the 18th century were round, rectangular, or octagonal in shape, usually with no feet. Later in the century, footed cellars with pierced sides were popular—a glass dish that fit within the cellar kept the salt from spilling out. In those days, guests did not typically “pass the salt.” Instead, salts were sold in sets, so that each guest might have his or her own, which was not a bad idea since salt was commonly applied to food with the fingers.

Casters were used for a number of spices, but they are most closely associated with pepper. So named because they allowed users to “cast” spices upon their food, casters had round bodies and domed tops, which were secured to the bodies with clasps. A variation on the caster was the pepper box, which accomplished the same thing as a caster but had squared-off sides and a handle.

By the 19th century, casters had won the design competition over cellars, as matching salt-and-pepper shakers that could be passed around the table from guest to guest became the dominant form. Some had ornately detailed feet and sides, with fussy finials at the top. Others were balanced on circular or square pedestals, and many antique sterling silver salt-and-pepper shakers were engraved with a family’s monogram.

Of particular interest to collectors are the novelty salt-and-pepper shakers from the Victorian era. British shakers in the form of dogs and bears are today very collectible. Also prized are the early 20th-century Art Nouveau shakers by Georg Jensen of Copenhagen and Liberty & Co. of London, which also produced silver shakers in the Arts and Crafts style.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Chicago Silver

Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson's incredible reference on handwrought metalwork from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the ear… [read review or visit site]

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

An extensive reference guide to silver marks, hallmarks, trademarks and maker's marks found on antique and vintage … [read review or visit site]

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

This is a great reference site on silver, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum. You can view silver items acc… [read review or visit site]

The Gilbert Collection

The Gilbert Collection

The late Sir Arthur Gilbert's collection of European silver, gold, enamel, and other items is now housed at the Vic… [read review or visit site]

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

“Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj” was the title of a 2008 exhibition at Columbia University’s Mi… [read review or visit site]

TheStieffCompany.com

TheStieffCompany.com

Scott Perkins is an enthusiastic evangelist for The Stieff Company, a significant Baltimore silversmith and maker o… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Most watched eBay auctions    

Fabulous English Antique 1833 Georgian Regency Sterling Silver Pounce Pot DusterHandsome Early English Antique Georgian 1751 Solid Sterling Silver Pepper CasterSterling Silver Hobnail Cut-glass Cruet Condiment Set Salt Pepper Mustard SpoonsRare, David Hennell, George Ii Solid Silver Toddy Ladle, 1741Solid Silver 6 Piece Cruet Set Original Box An Ornately Embossed Heavy Sterling Silver Pepper Pot Sheffield 1895 46 GramsSuperb Early English Antique Georgian L1757 Solid Sterling Silver Pepper CasterA Pair Of Antique Edwardian Solid Silver Egg Shaped Pepper Shakers - 1901Fisher Vintage 2pc Sterling Silver Salt & Pepper ShakerGorham Sterling Silver Open Salt Cellar Set Of Six A425 With Floral RepousseCharming Pair Of Victorian Silver Pepperettes - Sheffield 1897 - Roberts & BelkNovelty Edwardian 1908 Milk Urn Sterling / Solid Silver Pepper / Salt Pot Antique Dutch Export .833 Silver Pierced Life Scenery Cobalt Glass Salt CellarVictorian Sterling Silver Sea Shell Salt Dishes & Spoons (1893)Antique Chester 1896 Solid Silver Salt Pot/ Dia 4.4 Cm/ Cranberry Glass LinerPr Salt & Pepper Cellars Walker & Hall Sterling Silver Sheffield 1904An Exquisite Little Pair Of Solid Sterling Silver Salt & Pepper Pots Dates 1981.Solid Silver 4 Piece Cruet Set Original Box Hexagonal Islamic Middle Eastern .84 Solid Silver Salt, Pepper Condiment Set Japanese Sterling Dragon Ladle Hammered Salt Boxes Signed Victorian Pair Swirl Fluted Floral Embossed Baluster Peppers Hm London 1891Russian Solid Silver 84 Kokoshnik Nallmarks Salt Pot, Bright Cut DecorationRare George I London 1720 Britannia Solid Silver Pounce / Pepper PotMixed Metal & Silver Salt Pot - Aesthetic Design , C1890, 44gmSilver Salt Cellar - Brazier Design. Queens Head MarkEdwardian Urn Shaped Silver Pepperette Pepper Pot Birmingham 1902 33.5g George Iii Solid Silver Couldron Salt, 1777, 45gmTiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Sterling Silver Thumbprint Salt & Pepper ShakersAttractive 3 Piece Indian (kutch) Silver Cruet Set C1900 - 3.02ozSterling Silver Pepper Pot Pepperette By Wm Hutton & Sons Ltd, Birmingham, 19182 Deacon & Francis 1919 Sterling Silver Pierced Salt Cellars With Cobalt LinersPair Of Antique Silver Open Salts Birmingham 1903 Ref 920/1Pair Gorham Sterling 1878 Salt Cellars 3.49 T Oz5 Piece Kutch Style Indian Silver Cruet Set By J Manikrai, Karachi C1900 - 3.7ozMixed Lot Of 13 Miniature Salt & Pepper Shakers- (7) .925, (4) Plate, (2) PewterVintage Sterling Silver - Sanborns Mexico Poncho Sombrero Man 32g - Salt ShakerSolid Silver Cruet Set Salt Pepper Mustard Sheffield 1935-8 Atkin Bros49g Fine Solid Silver Screw Top Pepperette - Sheffield 1930 - Walker & HallAntique Silver Salt Very Attractive Quality Hallmarked Chester 54gm Circa 1908Antique Solid Sterling Silver Salt Pot 1896/ L 7.5 Cm/ Blue Glass LinerSterling Silver Salt Hallmarked Repousse Chased Paw Feet BeautifulAntique Silver Salt Pepper Condiments Pots Birmingham 1922Denmark Danish Ornate Silver Cobalt Glass Footed Open Salt Cellar CornucopiaJames Avery Sterling Silver Jalapeno Pepper CharmSilver Mustard And Salt Pots Hallmark Birmingham 193219th C Continental Hallmarked Silver And Opaline Blue Glass Master Salt Tiffany & Co Embossed Silver Metal Open Salt Dip, Cellar, Dish W/grapes, ScrollsSilver Cupid Design Salt CellarLovely Antique Hand-embossed Solid Silver Salt Pot 1879/ Dia 6.5 Cm/ 69 GQuality, George Iv Solid Silver Salt, 1821, 92gm12 Florida Rppc Post Card Lot Orange Lake Weir Kissimmee Silver Salt SpringsRare Rose By Stieff Sterling Silver Salt & Pepper Shakers 2pc Vintage Sterling Silver Cobalt Blue Glass Insert Open Salt Dip Cellar PortugalGeorge Iii Silver Baluster Sugar Caster London 1797Vintage Sterling Silver Salt Cellars W/cobalt Blue Liners 2 Webster 1 SterlingIndonesian Silver Pepper Pot. Lotus Pattern. Twist Off Lid. Tom JakartaPair Whiting Sterling Salt Cellars Matte Finish 3.74 T OzHo Scale Atlas Sterling Salt Acf 3 Bay Cylindrical Covered Hopper Car TrainMz1147 - Birks Sterling Silver .925 Salt And Pepper Shakers - 40.8g Total WeightMz1146 - Birks Sterling Silver .925 Salt And Pepper Shakers - 40.8g Total Weight