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Salt & Pepper Shakers

A meticulously set table always includes perfectly paired salt and pepper shakers. For as essential as the spices have become, the pairing of salt and pepper shakers is a relatively modern creation that built upon the vast history of salt-containing vessels.

Both salt and pepper have been key table condiments since the dawn of the royal courts in Europe centuries ago, but salt has maintained a particular prestige as it was a more expensive commodity to acquire. Salts and saltcellars, or small vessels to house salt that were often covered were included among the essential table accouterments. These cellars were standard, as the natural tendency of salt to cake together meant that it needed to be carefully spooned on to entrées.

All this changed in the '20s, when the Morton Salt Company of Chicago deduced that the addition of magnesium carbonate could prevent salt from caking. Without caking, the potential of the saltshaker was realized. Soon after Morton Salt's discovery, salt shakers flooded the market and, since salt and pepper are perennial partners, sets of salt and pepper shakers became popular. Contemporary ceramic makers channeled this popularity into their dinnerware and tableware lines, resulting in an amazing variety of collectible sets today.


Quick Facts

  • In the Middle Ages, the phrase "below the salt" referred to commoners or lower class individuals as they could not afford salt, let alone an elaborate container to store or serve it on their table
  • Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" features an overturned salt dish near his depiction of Judas as a symbolic foreshadowing of the character's future deception. Salt was such an expensive commodity that to spill it in such a manner was considered bad luck
  • One of the world's largest collections of salt and pepper shakers is owned by Andrea Ludden in Tennessee. Totaling more than 40,000 sets in 2012, part of Ludden's collection is on display at the Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers in Gatlinburg

Recommended Items at Auction

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Pensupreme Flies Water/S&P Shaker
Nov 29, 9:00 AM EST
Pensupreme Flies Water/S&P Shaker
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$126 Bids
PAIR OF VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN COOKS SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 02, 4:00 PM EST
PAIR OF VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN COOKS SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
by Diefenderfer Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Antique Mt. Washington Crown Milano Salt or Pepper Shaker
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CST
Antique Mt. Washington Crown Milano Salt or Pepper Shaker
by Thriftiques of Iowa
Est: $10- $1,000
$101 Bid
Antique Mt. Washington Crown Milano Salt or Pepper Shaker
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CST
Antique Mt. Washington Crown Milano Salt or Pepper Shaker
by Thriftiques of Iowa
Est: $10- $1,000
$101 Bid
PAIR OF VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN WATERMELON BABIES SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 02, 4:00 PM EST
PAIR OF VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN WATERMELON BABIES SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
by Diefenderfer Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
PAIR OF VINTAGE AUNT JEMIMA COLD PAINTED PORCELAIN SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 02, 4:00 PM EST
PAIR OF VINTAGE AUNT JEMIMA COLD PAINTED PORCELAIN SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
by Diefenderfer Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
PAIR OF VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN OCCUPIED JAPAN WASHING LADY SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 02, 4:00 PM EST
PAIR OF VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN OCCUPIED JAPAN WASHING LADY SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
by Diefenderfer Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
2 VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN PORCELAIN SHAKERS
Dec 02, 4:00 PM EST
2 VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN PORCELAIN SHAKERS
by Diefenderfer Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
10+ vintage salt and pepper shaker collection
Dec 11, 12:00 PM EST
10+ vintage salt and pepper shaker collection
by South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.
Est: $20- $100
$101 Bid
BIRKS Salt & Pepper SHAKERS Made in England
Dec 15, 11:00 AM EST
BIRKS Salt & Pepper SHAKERS Made in England
by Vintage Auctions Online
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
Mount Rushmore South Dakota Salt and pepper
Dec 28, 6:00 PM EST
Mount Rushmore South Dakota Salt and pepper
by Captain Ahab's Antiques
Est: $35- $70
$250 Bids
Marcello Fantoni
Dec 02, 5:00 PM CET
Marcello Fantoni
by Bozner Kunstauktionen
Est: €150- €195
€1400 Bids
Salz & Pfefferstreuer/ salt and pepper caster
Dec 08, 2:00 PM CET
Salz & Pfefferstreuer/ salt and pepper caster
by Kunstauktionshaus Günther
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
Mid Century Anthropomorhic Salt Shaker Set
Dec 31, 2:00 PM EST
Mid Century Anthropomorhic Salt Shaker Set
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $75- $150
$300 Bids
LARGE GROUPING VINTAGE SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
LARGE GROUPING VINTAGE SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$500 Bids
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$500 Bids
GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$500 Bids
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$500 Bids
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$500 Bids
GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$500 Bids
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$500 Bids
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
LARGE GROUPING OF VINTAGE SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$500 Bids
Metallic reflection salt cellar, Manises, late-17th-18th century
Dec 14, 5:00 PM CET
Metallic reflection salt cellar, Manises, late-17th-18th century
by Ansorena
Est: €0- €450
€6000 Bids
6 VINTAGE ROYAL AUSTRIA PORCELAIN SALTS
Dec 02, 4:00 PM EST
6 VINTAGE ROYAL AUSTRIA PORCELAIN SALTS
by Diefenderfer Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$40 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Salt & Pepper Shakers


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Westport Auction

Westport Auction

South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.

South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.

Diefenderfer Auction Company

Diefenderfer Auction Company