Vintage Salt Cellar Collection Reveal

July 24, 2023

Welcome! Today I'm sharing my salt cellar collection, along with a brief history of salt cellars -- or salt pigs, as they're sometimes called. I'd love for you to stick around and maybe learn something new today!

silver salt cellar blue glass

This post contains affiliate links. A purchase of any one of these items helps to support this blog and its creative efforts at no cost to you. To read more, please see my disclosure page.

I began collecting salt cellars in the early 1990's, before I was married with children -- and could spend an entire weekend scouting local flea markets for things like, well, salt cellars.

I was enamored of the fact that salt cellars could be so different from each other (small or large, lidded or open), yet still perform the same basic function: that is, to sit beside your place setting at the table, at the ready -- as your personal salt receptacle -- to dispense just the right amount of salt for your taste. 

Whenever I've used them they always make me feel so special. (I also happen to love salt, lol.)

What I've come to know as salt pigs (or Japanese salt boxes), on the other hand, hold a larger quantity of salt meant for cooking, and are usually left on the kitchen counter right next to the stove for ease of access. They, too, come in all shapes and sizes, lidded and unlidded. 

They're much more easily found today than vintage salt cellars, and can be picked up at most major retailers that carry kitchen accessories. See my list of salt cellars and salt pigs for purchase at the end of this post.

The use of salt cellars is documented as far back as ancient Rome! They continued to be used through the first half of the 20th century, but were eventually replaced by salt shakers. It was at that point that salt cellars became collectibles.

tarnished vintage silver plated salt cellar

My most favorite salt cellar is this silver plate salt cellar with a cobalt blue glass bowl insert. I found many similar ones in my research, some with lids and some without. This one is similar to an E.G. Webster & Son silver plated salt cellar. Many of them are selling for upwards of $50 apiece. 

sea salt blue bowl salt cellar silver spoon

I got it for a few dollars at a local pop-up estate sale. I've already shared this salt cellar and one other in Thrill of the Hunt #109.silver plated salt cellar silver spoon

3 piece salt cellar with spoon

mini sterling silver salt cellar spoon

Many, but not all, salt cellars come with spoons. Some of mine, like this one, came with silver spoons. 

three silver spoons

You can never be sure that the spoon was original to the salt cellar, but I'm always happy when one is included! And honestly, after so many years, I'm not actually sure which spoon came with which salt cellar! 

silver plate vintage salt cellar clear glass bowl insert

I believe this was the very first salt cellar that began my collection all those years ago.   

tarnished round silver plate salt cellar

It came with a clear glass bowl insert and silver spoon. 

Like so many of these older salt cellars, it has a patina which gives away its age. I love that about them! I will admit that after this photo was taken I did polish it. However, even after polishing, it still retains its vintage look.

mini vintage tarnished silver salt cellar

This metal salt cellar is quite petite, much smaller than the first two. It also has some serious patina which I later tried to polish away -- to no avail, which was not a surprise.

tarnished patina'd tiny silver salt cellar

I wish it still had its glass bowl insert, but I love it anyway.

825 metal alloy salt cellar

When I first saw the engraving on the bottom I thought it must be sterling silver. But after looking it up, I learned about "825 metal." So what is 825 metal? Alloy 825 is a nickel-iron-chromium alloy which was developed to provide "exceptional resistance to corrosive environments, both oxidizing and reducing." I find that pretty funny since it is clearly super-oxidized! 

This petite, white ceramic salt cellar is from the 1940's or 1950's.

white porcelain salt cellar gold rim scalloped edging

I  love the gold rim and scalloped edging.

O&EG Royal Austria makers mark

Its makers mark reads: "O & E G Royal Austria" which stands for Oscar and Edward Gutherz Co., brothers and owners of the company. I paid $7.50 for it.

pink pearlescent salt cellar

Another favorite, this salt cellar is pink porcelain with gold feet!

gold rimmed pink salt cellar with 3 legs

It also sports a gold rim.

Bavaria makers mark with sickle design

The makers mark says Bavaria with a hammer, which I think stands for Schwarzenhammer. I believe I got this at a neighbor's barn sale before they moved away.

amber cut glass salt cellar

Cut glass salt cellars are very common and easy to find at antique malls and flea markets.

I particularly love this salt cellar's amber color. 

lidded chinoiserie salt cellar

One of the most unique salt cellars I own is this chinoiserie lidded salt cellar. I originally shared it in Thrill of the Hunt #131 Blue & White Series #4.

lidded chinoiserie salt cellar with spoon

bottom of chinoiserie salt cellar made in Japan sticker

The spoon for this salt cellar appears to be made out of something akin to celluloid, making it quite different than the more common silver spoons. The fact that it was made in Japan also sets it apart from all my other salt cellars.   

As I mentioned above, I've always considered "salt pigs" to be a much larger version of salt cellars that are meant to be kept on the stove as opposed to the table. They're still very useful and fun to collect as well. Unlike salt cellars, they continue to be made today and are readily available at many retailers. I've listed some of my favorites below:

Salt Pigs

Salt Cellars

(So-called modern salt pigs small enough to be considered individual salt cellars)

Beardo Bamboo Salt Cellar With Lid

 Salt And Pepper Bowls

Hopefully you're curious enough now to be on the lookout for vintage salt cellars in your thrifting and/or vintage shopping excursions. Oh, and one other thing that's nice about them? They're small, and easy to store!

Well, that's it for today, friends! 
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my
Vintage Salt Cellar Collection 
and that I've inspired you in some way.  

Don't Forget To Pin It! 

silver salt cellar blue glass bowl

Be sure to stay in touch:
Click HERE to subscribe. 
Don't miss another thrifty, 
DIY home decor post!

Leave a Comment!

Junkchiccottage said...

Good Morning Kathleen. I love your collection of salt pigs. Love the name lol! Have a great rest of the week. Hugs. Kris

Related Posts with Thumbnails