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

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Magnificent Kerr Embossed Sterling Silver Salt Pepper Shakers ChrysanthemumsGreat Set Of 4 Sterling Silver Salt & Pepper Shakers By Reed & Barton Francis ISuperb Ornate ~ Solid Silver ~ Salt / Pepper Grinder ~ Bham 1892 ~ John GrinsellVintage Dutch Girl & Boy Solid .830 Silver Salt N Pepper Figures 108gramsAntique Solid 925 Sterling Silver Pair Salt Pepper Pots Nice Condition 40.5gChinese Export Silver Cruet Set Mustard Pepper/salt Kc Rare, C1875Vintage 925 Silver & Enamel Salt Dish & SpoonAntique Pair Sterling Silver Condiment Cruet Pots & Spoons Salt Mustard CellarAntique Chinese Silver Hallmarked Prunus Blossom Pepperette / Pepper PotFine Old Pair Chinese Or Japanese Sterling Silver 950 Salt & Pepper Shakers Vtg Sterling 925 Viking Dragon Ship Boat Salt Cellar W/ Glass Insert Makers MarkAntique Sterling 950 Silver Pagoda Salt/pepper Shakers Made In JapanArt Deco G. Jensen Solid Sterling Silver Pepper Pot, 1923/ 9.2 CmElegant Art Deco International Orchid Sterling Silver Salt & Pepper Shakers 1930Lot Of 6 Antique Sterling Silver Ssmc Salt Spoons Vintage 18.2 Grams925 Sterling Silver Ring 2 Mikimoto Akoya Salt Water Pearls Sz 6 1/4 Stamped MsSuper Victorian Solid Silver Scallop Shell Salt No ReserveAntique Sterling Silver Gilt Master Salt 1800s Collection Of 11 SpoonsAntique Miyata Sterling 950 Silver Salt/pepper Shakers Art Deco Sterling Silver & Baker & Bakelite Salt & Pepper Pots, 1930 Vintage Little Australian Stewart Dawson Silver Plate Salt/kookaburraPair Antique Georgian Sterling Silver Fiddle Pattern Salt Spoons, 1834, 21 GramsViking Boat With Viking Horns Sterling Silver Salt And Pepper Sterling SwedenVictorian Walker & Hall Solid Silver Cruet Set Mustard & Pepper Pot - 1897 B`hamVintge Mexican Sterling & Glass Salt & Pepper Shakers W/ Matching Under TrayBox Cruet Set Lovely Pretty 1938 Gieves Old Bond St Silver Salt Pots Spoons 116gPair Sterlling Silver Open Salt Cellar Dip Spoons Kirk Style Floral RepousseMeka Of Denmark White Enamel Sterling Salt, Sp Dish Egg Shaped Pepper Shaker IbPretty Hand-embossed Antique Solid Sterling Silver Pepper Pot, 1910/ 11 Cm High925 Sterling Silver Mix Lot Salt And Pepper Set 220 Grams Scrap WearAntique/vintage Pair Sterling Silver Welsh & Bro Salt And Pepper ShakersSterling Silver Salt And Pepper Shakers. 11 TotalGorham Sterling Silver Salt & Pepper Shakers #11388 Piece Silver Plated Cruet Set , Salt & Pepper , Mustard & Spoons Vintage Chinese Figural Immortals Sterling 950 Pair Salt & Pepper Shakers 28 GrAntique .925 Sterling Silver Lot Of 41 Demitasse/salt Spoons Servers 440 GramsPair Two Georg Jensen Sterling Salt Dip Cellars & Spoons 110 Hammered Finish11 Sterling Silver Salt And Pepper ShakersMeka Of Denmark White Enamel Sterling Salt Dish Wspoon & Mushroom Pepper Shaker Art Deco Silver Plated Mappin & Webb Keith Murray Salt & Pepper Pot Shaker C1930Roger Lunt & Bowlen 1120 Sterling Silver 925 Salt Pepper Shaker 101.1g 1408#97 Vintage Sterling Silver Salt SpoonsAntique Sterling Silver Chinese Salt Cellar Dragon MotifAntique Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Salt Cellars Extremely Rare! No Reserve!!!Georg Jensen Sterling Silver Salt Pepper Set In Original BoxVintage Set Of 4 Sterling Salt SpoonsAntique Vintage 925 Silver & Enamel Continental Pepperets Pepper Cruet Pots Salt Cellar Sterling Openwork Scroll Band Colbalt GlassRailroad Silver - Hotel Silver - Vintage Salt & Pepper Shaker Caps - LidsAntique 584gm Sterling Shell Salt Spoon Rest Cellar Set Scrap Or Use 9254 Misc. Vintage Sterling And 800 Silver Salt/ Pepper Shakers, Different MakersAntique Georg Jensen & Wendel A/s Sterling Silver Denmark Salt Spoon2 Each Rapala Magnum Salt Water Trolling Crankbait Cdmag26 S SilverPair Of Weighted 925 Sterling Silver Duchin 4" Salt & Pepper Shakers Set 195g #3Antique Russian 875 Silver Enamel Gilt Salt Spoons Set 6 Great Shape!Scarce 1782 English Sterling Silver Open Salt Cellar Dish London Charles HoughamAntique Weighted Sterling Silver Scrap Bullion 2 Lbs + Candlesticks Salt ShakerVintage 2 Mark Sterling Silver .925 70+g Salt Pepper Shakers Black Starr GorhamVintage Estate Sterling Silver .925 Rose Floral Repousse Salt Spoon 5.9gAntique - Edwardian Solid Silver Salt/pepper Pot - Hallmarked 1907