Posted 4 years ago
For those who know me, know that I’m a collector of Victorian Art Glass shakers and condiment sets. A typical condiment set may consist of a salt, pepper, mustard jar, and maybe a small oil bottle or cruet. It is the mustard jar that I would like to focus on in this article.
These tiny little jars, usually possessing the same pattern as the rest of the set that it was found in was made to contain mustard, mustard not like what is found today, but in a powdered form and dispensed with a small spoon that was with the jar.
The jar itself was made out of glass, and the hinged top was made from metal. The metal may have been made from a variety of material such as nickel plated brass, pewter, silverplate, and even silver. The lids can be very plain to very fancy depending upon the piece and manufacturer and some even have handles. Some of these tops are fixed to the jar with plaster and some have threads and screw on to the jar. Usually if the shakers in the set have a two piece top and is attached with plaster, so will the mustard lid be attached with plaster and if the top is designed to screw on without plaster so will the rest of the set.
Mustard jars and all related bottles can come in almost all types of glass that was offered during the period. Most were mould blown and includes cased glass; decorated opalware as well as many other forms of enameled glass. Others include Amberina, Burmese, Peachblow, Findlay Onyx, Opalescent, Chocolate glass and so many others.
The most notable manufacturers are Mt Washington, New England Glass, Consolidated Glass, Hobbs Brockunier, Challinor Taylor, and Northwood; it is this diversity that makes them so interesting.
Mustard jars were considered a secondary item that was often included in a larger condiment set as mentioned above. As a collector of shakers, I recognize that mustard jars are harder to find in most cases. You have to understand that there was only one mustard jar for every pair of shakers.
Not every shaker set had a mustard jar to go along with it. Many shaker patterns were never designed with the mustard jar as part of the set. As one collects these sets you will learn what patterns have mustard jars and what ones were never designed with one.
One can build quite a nice collection collecting just mustard jars and there are collectors out there who just do that.
If one chooses to collect only mustard jars, one could build a most impressive collection but may be a bit more challenging than collecting shakers.
I am a collector not a researcher and write my articles from that standpoint. All of my findings and experiences are written from that point of view. Should anyone have any additional comments or information about this subject, I am open for that input.