Loading Spinner

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

See all items

COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION SALT & PEPPER and MATCH SAFE
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION SALT & PEPPER and MATCH SAFE
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$804 Bids
TWO PAIR OF PARAKEET S&P SHAKER SETS
Nov 07, 1:00 PM EDT
TWO PAIR OF PARAKEET S&P SHAKER SETS
by Simonetta Auction Service
Est: $10- $20
$41 Bid
5- Sets Vintage Salt & Pepper Shakers
Oct 29, 12:00 PM PDT
5- Sets Vintage Salt & Pepper Shakers
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $25- $75
$51 Bid
Coalport salt & pepper, little rabbit, chicken and brooch, approx 10cm and less
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Coalport salt & pepper, little rabbit, chicken and brooch, approx 10cm and less
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD20- AUD40
AUD101 Bid
Toby Salt and Pepper Shakers
Oct 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Toby Salt and Pepper Shakers
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
STERLING SILVER WEIGHTED SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS LOT 215
Oct 31, 5:00 PM EDT
STERLING SILVER WEIGHTED SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS LOT 215
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
STERLING SILVER WEIGHTED SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS LOT 215
Oct 31, 5:00 PM EDT
STERLING SILVER WEIGHTED SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS LOT 215
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Two Copeland Spode & Two Spode Italian Blue & White Salt & Pepper Shakers
Nov 14, 11:00 AM AEDT
Two Copeland Spode & Two Spode Italian Blue & White Salt & Pepper Shakers
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD251 Bid
Donald Sultan - Peppers
Nov 11, 12:00 PM EST
Donald Sultan - Peppers
by Dane Fine Art Auctions
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1,2000 Bids
Pair of vintage salt shakers
Nov 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Pair of vintage salt shakers
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $15- $25
$100 Bids
Pickard Christmas Holly Berry Salt and Pepper Shakers Gold Trim Genuine Bone China, EC
Nov 06, 1:00 PM EDT
Pickard Christmas Holly Berry Salt and Pepper Shakers Gold Trim Genuine Bone China, EC
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Group of 4 Popeye and Olive Oyl Salt and Pepper Shakers
Nov 07, 10:00 AM CDT
Group of 4 Popeye and Olive Oyl Salt and Pepper Shakers
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $500
$150 Bids
SET ROYAL BAYREUTH PORCELAIN SALT PEPPER SHAKERS
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
SET ROYAL BAYREUTH PORCELAIN SALT PEPPER SHAKERS
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$100 Bids
A PORCELAIN TOMATO SHAPED SALT SHAKER
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
A PORCELAIN TOMATO SHAPED SALT SHAKER
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$100 Bids
Advertising gas pump salt and pepper shakers
Oct 30, 9:00 AM CDT
Advertising gas pump salt and pepper shakers
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $50- $100
$250 Bids
Royal Canadian mounted police figural S&P set
Nov 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Royal Canadian mounted police figural S&P set
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $65- $75
$500 Bids
F&F MOLD & DIE WORKS MILLIE & WILLIE S&P SET
Nov 07, 1:00 PM EDT
F&F MOLD & DIE WORKS MILLIE & WILLIE S&P SET
by Simonetta Auction Service
Est: $5- $20
$40 Bids
bp parity badge
2 German Cobalt / Salt Glaze Beer Tankards
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
2 German Cobalt / Salt Glaze Beer Tankards
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $200- $300
$750 Bids
An American Silver Pepper Box
Nov 01, 10:00 AM CDT
An American Silver Pepper Box
by Hindman
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
Lusiada salt shaker in ivory
Oct 28, 8:00 PM WEST
Lusiada salt shaker in ivory
by Marques dos Santos
Est: €750- €1,000
€5000 Bids
bp parity badge
RR Pass - San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake RR Co [138594]
Oct 30, 8:00 AM PDT
RR Pass - San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake RR Co [138594]
by Holabird Western Americana
Est: $60- $120
$300 Bids
PAIR OF OLD AMERICAN SILVER AND GLASS SALT SHAKERS MADE BY HURRICANE
Oct 28, 5:00 PM IDT
PAIR OF OLD AMERICAN SILVER AND GLASS SALT SHAKERS MADE BY HURRICANE
by The Bidder
Est: $80- $100
$300 Bids
ASSORTMENT OF 3 ANTIQUE IMPERIAL RUSSIAN 84 SILVER SALT SHAKERS
Oct 28, 5:00 PM IDT
ASSORTMENT OF 3 ANTIQUE IMPERIAL RUSSIAN 84 SILVER SALT SHAKERS
by The Bidder
Est: $200- $300
$700 Bids
SET OF 4 GLASS SALT SHAKERS WITH STERLING SILVER TOPS
Oct 28, 5:00 PM IDT
SET OF 4 GLASS SALT SHAKERS WITH STERLING SILVER TOPS
by The Bidder
Est: $120- $150
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Salt & Pepper Shakers


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce

Jones Auction House LLC

Jones Auction House LLC

Homestead Auctions

Homestead Auctions