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    

Art Deco David Andersen Norway Sterling Silver Polar Bear Salt & Pepper ShakersVry Fine Pair 1905 Sampson Mordan Sterling Silver Chick Bird Salt Pepper ShakersArt Deco David Andersen Norway Sterling Silver Penguin Salt & Pepper ShakersVery Fine Art Deco Norwegian Sterling Silver Fish Figural Salt & Pepper ShakersGreat Antique Continental Sterling Silver Dutch Boy & Girl Salt & Pepper Shakers1995 J A Campbell Sterling Silver Gold Horse Riding Boots Salt Pepper ShakersFine Antique Georgian Sterling Silver Pepper Pot,86 Grams, Crested,1747,sam WoodGood Antique Georgian Stelring Silver Salt Cellar, 1749, 49 Grams Coach Poppy Chan Pepper Silver/black/grey Wristlet Limited Edition Large 43720Antique Silver & Cobalt Blue Glass Open Salt Master Bowl Rose Garlands 1800sExtremely Rare Solid Silver Novelty Sampson Mordan Victorian Pepper Shaker 1883Pair Of King's Honeysuckle Pattern Silver Gilt Salt Spoons, London 1837Gorham "chantilly Grand" Sterling Master Salt Cellar Gold Wash 2.1 T Oz 2 Of 2Good Antique Georgian Stelring Silver Salt Cellar, 1771, Hennell, 46 Grams Gorham "chantilly Grand" Sterling Master Salt Cellar Gold Wash 2.1 T Oz 1 Of 2C1890 Monot-stumpf French Art Glass Salt Dish W/silver Stand & SpoonVintage Sterling Silver & Blue Glass Salt Pepper & Mustard Pot Cruet Set C. 1967Super Victorian Solid Silver Scallop Shell Salt `1895 With Shell SpoonFine Hallmarked Sterling Silver & Glass Crystal Swan Form Salt Cellar.Asprey Silver & Black Salt & Pepper Grinders Birmingham Solid Silver Cruet Set - Salt, Pepper & Mustard Pot With Liners 124 GAsprey London Solid Silver Pepper Pot/ Sugar Castor Job Lot Silver Hallmarked Salt? Spoons & A Pickle Fork? + Silver Plated Salt??Russian Open Silver Salt 916 Silver & Blue Enamel Superb HallmarkedEnglish Sterling Silver Bowl Salt Cruet Sheffield 1782 LinersVintage 153g Sterling Silver Georgian Style Pepper Pot & Open Salt Cellar C 1964Pair Of Owl Silver Guilloche Enamel Salt & Pepper Shakers David Anderesn NorwayNice Antique Sterling Silver Small Bowl Or Large Salt London 1796Sterling Silver Salt Spoons (r L B, Sterling), Set Of 4~A Pair Of Antique Sterling Silver Pepper Pots Sheffield 1915 Walker & HallMappin & Webb Silver Plate Salt & Pepper Shaker/cellar For Union-castle LinePair Of Antique Sterling Silver & Jade Horse & Carriage Salt Cellars DipsSterling Silver - Antique Tall (set Of 2) 16.3g - Salt & Pepper Shakers Ut8211(12) Antique Sterling Silver Salt Cellars * Nice Lot Hallmarked Tiffany & Co.Superb Chinese Export Silver Salt Cellar Miniature Jardiniere Pot Hung ChongNice Quality Large Antique Solid Sterling Silver Salt Pot, 1741/ 73 GVintage Figural Fish Salt Or Pepper Shaker Sterling Silver 950 (1 Oz)Fine Fancy Sterling Silver Bowl / Salt Hm 1973 - Arthur Cook 1902Lot 6 Vintage Signed Sterling Silver 925 Round Bowl 2 1/4" Master Salt Spoons NrSterling Silver 950 Japanese Or Chinese Figural Man Salt & Pepper Shakers. NrSolid Silver 1903 Birmingham Salt & LinerSalt& Pepper Shakers - Sterling Silver - Anderson - Norway - 925 -Vintage Solid Sterling Silver Footed Salt & Peppers Shakers Mueck Not WeightedPair Of Hallmarked Sterling Silver Open Salt Cellars With Spoons Jg In Case WowSalt& Pepper Shakers - Sterling Silver - Anderson - Norway - 925 -Michael Aram River Rock Silver Chrome Metal Salt & Pepper Shakers Nib(2) Viking Ship Norway Sterling Silver Salt Cellars * Hallmarked Excellent Edwardian Sterling Silver Salt Pots 1902, Original Spoons & LinersAntique Sterling Silver & Blue Glass Lined Pepper Pot By Gorham Mfg Dated 1919Vintage Sterling Silver 950 Volcano Japanese Salt Pepper Shakers Unique NrVintage Lot Of Sterling Silver Scrap 24 Ounces - Candlesticks And Salt & Pepper Pair Victorian Solid Silver Floral Design Open Salt Cellars Lon 1869 Maker JwPair German Sterling Silver & Crystal Swan Salt Cellars With Cherub SpoonsAntique Sterling Silver Salt Cellars Lot * Cobalt Blue Cranberry Inserts FootedVery Nice Antique Sterling Silver Pepper Pot Birmingham 1882 C S HarrisMiniature Bachelors Solid Silver Condiment / Cruet Set - Mustard Salt Pepper Pot1840 Hannah Robinson Wilmington De Coin Silver Spoon Salt Spoon Lady SilversmithVntg Gorham Sterling Silver A3136 Set Of 8 Pairs Individual Salt & Pepper Sets.Victorian Solid Silver Novelty Shovel Or Salt Spoon Birmingham 18641926 Vintage Solid Silver Pair Salt Cellars & Spoons Cased - 69g/2.21ozs