Antique Shakers

What To Look For When Buying Antique Salt & Pepper Shakers?

A fabulous part of the antique collection is the antique salt and pepper shakers. In addition to being absolutely adorable, they take up little space, are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. For the novice collector, antique salt and pepper shakers can be a fascinating collectible. The beautiful sets fan be found for as little as $5.00, making this a very affordable hobby.

History of Salt and Pepper Shakers

Salt and pepper shakers have a long and rich history. In the Victorian era, people stored their salt in open cellars which were small round bowls. At that time salt came in rock form and it needed to be chipped off the rock before it could be used in cooking. After the salt cellars came salt mills. They were similar to today’s pepper grinders. The salt mill contained a piece of rock salt and a shaker that broke the salt into pieces.

All the production of salt improved and advanced, and the salt mills were replaced by modern salt shakers. The 1940s saw the production of salt and pepper shakers really expanded. The birth of modern ceramics made it easier to make the shakers in a variety of shapes and designs. As they became more affordable, an additional market grew for souvenir and novelty shakers.

Salt and pepper shakers today can be found in nearly every conceivable shape, size and material. They are made from wood, metal, ceramics glass and plastic. As long as there have been salt and pepper shakers, there have been collectors. Their demand as a collectable grew along with their production in the 1940s.

Things To Look For When Buying These Collectible Items

Like any other collectible, the salt and pepper shakers have their own set of guidelines to follow when you are looking to add a new set to your collection.


  • Look for good details
  • Paint that does not flake
  • Heavier ceramic


Check carefully to make sure that the markings on the set are authentic and match the manufacturer’s stated markings.


Not every set needs to be a priceless antique! Collecting sets from your travels can be a great way to remember a special vacation or trip.


Look for the sets with unique shapes or decoration, something that makes you smile.

What To Watch Out For?

When buying shakers for your collection, you need to be careful of a number of things which are mentioned below;

Chips Or Cracks

Examine all the pieces carefully as these may be hidden and may make your set less valuable.

Paying Too Much

This can be a particular problem at auctions. Do your research beforehand and know how much you should be paying. Additionally you will always want to stick with a budget and not get carried away with the competition at an auction.

Repaired Pieces

As with chips or cracks you will always need to examine a piece carefully. Some repairs can be so good that they are easy to miss. Again, the repairs can lower the value of a piece or set.

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