Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (2023)

Collectible salt and pepper shaker can deliver a kitschy kitchen charm like no other. The small-sized item should check your intention of the indoor display, use & repurpose. And you don’t need to prepare an immense budget for the abundantly available product.

However, recent counterparts with similar designs represent a challenge regarding the investment. You actually need proper guidelines on identifying antique salt and pepper shakers. And our expert team has gathered everything necessary for the process.

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (1)

Table of Contents

What is an Antique Salt & Pepper Shaker?

The history of using separate salt by kitchen chefs dates back to 17th century Europe. But the small dishes or cellars could barely keep the salt in pristine condition. However, how exactly pepper became salt’s most trusted companion remains a mystery.

  • The actual invention of salt and pepper shakers for commercial application remains unknown. No one actually knows how people managed to think of a confined container.
  • Many suggest the idea to originate outside Europe – either China, the USA, or colonial places. But the use remained extremely limited to the locals by the 1900s’ beginning.
  • Morton Salt Company polished the idea to market the very first commercial shakers. Its introduction in the 1920s helped many ceramics to survive the great depression.

Large-scale production spread the industry all across the globe with widespread recognition. And people hitting different places started buying the shakers as a souvenir by the 1940s. That’s exactly where you’re likely to deal with vintages instead of antiques.

How to Identify Genuine Antique Shakers?

It’s essential for everyone to understand the fundamental points of identification. In fact, the process is indeed the very first step for authentic trading.

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (2)

1. Determining Age or Year

Current age to know the production year should confirm the shakers’ identity. However, narrowing down the exact age is somewhat difficult without conducting experiments. The problem actually rises with the availability of copycat reproductions.

2. Tracing the Manufacturer

Finding the original company to market the shaker can provide a definite confirmation. You must look into the details of individual designs by yourself. Pay attention to any particular imprints at the bottom, around the top, or over the surrounding surfaces.

(Video) Collecting 101: Salt & Pepper Shakers! The History, Popularity and Value! Episode 17

3. Country or State of Origin

You should consider contacting the local, regional, national archives to know the industry. Precise government records can help you narrow down the manufacturing details. Of course, not all countries may offer sufficient knowledge or information.

4. Looking into the Materials

Exploring the materials remains a great way to establish a straightforward difference. Modern-day shakers have plastic (polymer)/steel construction for the majority. But heavy ceramics, as well as other unusual materials, adorned the classic models.

5. Checking the Design Finish

Cultural, retro & art deco’s influence dominated the actual collectibles from the last century. And the exterior surface ended up integrating peculiar designs with reasonable precision. However, the surface finishing wasn’t exactly perfect in the early decades.

Popular Antique Salt & Pepper Shaker Styles

You can’t recognize any shaker as vintage or antique right away with all the reproductions. Even the early periods featured a wide range of styles/designs for the shakers. Therefore, you should know the standard styles to proceed with the valuation.

1. Anonymous Christmas Shaker Set

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (3)

The festive set is believed to make the market by the early 1970s. Unknown origin adds mystery for the displayable & usable figures.

2. Art Deco ‘Japanese’ Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (4)

The tiny hand-painted set is popular throughout the entire world. Its 1930s production resembles art deco styles with stamped ‘Japan’ imprint.

3. Dog Salt & Pepper Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (5)

The mid-century awesomeness comes with pastel shades & cheerful appeal. Cuteness gets to dominate the table with an everlasting impression.

4. Dutch Boy & Girl Figural Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (6)

(Video) Salt and pepper shaker collectors shake things up

Classic blue & white coloring of Delft China actually originated in Japan. The set should initiate a perfect match for tables with blue dishes.

5. Engraved Metal/Silver Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (7)

Royal families from earlier times possessed valuable units. Broad designs with surface details should make a surprisingly high amount.

6. Fitz & Floyd Elves Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (8)

The popularity may date back to the 1980s but it originated earlier. Its holiday-themed design stands as a great collectible with superb craftsmanship.

7. Green Milk Glass Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (9)

Somewhat larger milk glass from the 190s & the 1930s held green appeal. Its addition can certainly define your quest for impressive kitchen decoration.

8. Hand Painted Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (10)

Regular people managed to craft some gorgeous designs using hand-paints only. Wide variation in taste, mix & outlook checked the market by the 1980s.

9. Nippon Hand Painted Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (11)

It’s more like a modified Chinese version of Japanese ones from the 1940s. No crazing with minimal chipping makes the design a great table addition.

(Video) The 2012 Mount Airy salt and pepper shaker collection like no other

10. Pink Spun Aluminum & Bakelite Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (12)

The Westbend design was actually part of the 1950s canister set. Its sleek mid-century profile features extreme versatility in styles.

11. Van Tellingen Huggers’ Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (13)

The 1947 design remains a popular choice among Black Americana collectors. Its controversial choices hold many different styles from the past.

12. Vintage Souvenir Salt & Pepper Shakers

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (14)

It’s an early as well as mid-20th century collectible unit. Random yet special designs let the travelers in a locality keep it as a souvenir.

13. Vintage Egg-Shaped Shakers

The adorable designs are almost free to take any food shape. Easter meal or regular breakfast should match the details for the recent vintage sets.

Antique Salt and Pepper Shaker: Identification & Values Guide (15)

You should understand the possibility of encountering lots of distinctive variations. And the details will also change in accordance with the style, production & uses.

How to Value Antique Salt & Pepper Shaker?

Exact valuation of an antique, vintage, or classic product is always difficult. There are too many factors into play to make the process somewhat impossible. Still, experts have suggested the following points in order to narrow down the range.

  • Older shakers the from early 1900sare more valuable than newer ones.
  • Actual manufacturers can induce brand value to impart a greater price.
  • Stamped markings with authentication should value higher than others.
  • Special features on the outside surface can add up to the intended price.
  • Good condition of the shaker from outside is a must for exact valuation.
  • Decorative shakers have more value in comparison to regular designs.
  • Usability counts very important to set the market value somewhat high.
  • Locations with minimal customers should affect the market valuation.
  • Extremely rare or low amount of availability pushes the pricing forward.
  • Historical provenance to relate figures or events can increase the value.
  • Intended use (either display or actual shaking) matters for its valuation.

The pricing remains quite uncertain with a lengthy process for a novice or beginner. It’ll take several days to understand the context of individual points for a shaker.

(Video) Download Florence's Big Book of Salt & Pepper Shakers: Identification & Value Guide PDF

Appointing an appraisal sounds excellent when you have minimal knowledge or details. Lots of online as well as offline appraisals are now available in the cities. You just need to capture detailed pictures of the possessed shaker to receive an online service.

You may look into the Novelty Salt and Pepper Club to check selling suggestions.

Where to Find Salt & Pepper Shaker?

Whether it’s identification or valuation, you can certainly develop ideas from existing shakers. In fact, the large-scale 20th-century productions had lots of collectibles for your choice.

You must explore the internet resources (websites, videos, articles, auctions) on classic shakers. Not to mention, Live Auctioneer is a great place to sell or purchase genuine antiques online.

Well-founded e-commerce sites like eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Wayfair, Chairish, 1st Dibs have great collections. you should also check the exclusive collection at Mercari, Ancient Point & Vatican.

And you mustn’t miss the impressive videos from YouTube search on antique shakers. There are lots of videos on the collection, identification/valuation, restoration, care, reinvention & reproductions.

Check the collections at FOX 8 News Cleveland, CBS Sunday Morning, YourTV Niagra, Vintage Vinny & The Carpetbagger. Meanwhile, you ought to watch the SueMe video for developing ideas.

Authentic Antiques vs New Reproductions

There’s a fine line to consider between real-time antiques & modern-day reproductions. Lots of customers actually want to decorate the table with something unique. and many legitimate manufacturers are marketing antique-style reproductions.

The most troublesome problem concerns the presence of reproductions in the antique market. And you must stay cautious about the identification info to purchase a set. Early designs (prior to the 1970s) should contain slight dissimilarity or distortion from the outsides.

It’s true that not every vintage shaker features imperfections or defect to confront authenticity. But you’ll have to take the challenge of differentiating antiques from reproductions. Only then, your precious investment suffices the intended/targeted purchase.

Final Words

Getting the righteous shaker is a matter of individual perspective at a personal level. And the wide selection shouldn’t fool you on purchases with erroneous tags. Utilizing the expert guideline can definitely ease your attempt to invest/sell worthy options.

(Video) ●Rare Vintage Salt & Pepper Shakers●


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Are salt and pepper shaker collections worth anything? ›

There are different salt and pepper shakes all around the world that are worth a significant amount of money, from the vintage sets from the 1950s to the current ones made with precious materials. You may not know the value of your salt and pepper shaker set—and you can possibly be sitting on a gold mine.

How do you identify salt and pepper shakers? ›

Distinguishing salt from pepper

The shakers may also be simply labelled "pepper" and "salt" or "p" and "s" (in some cases the latter may be formed of the holes for pouring), or may be colored white for salt and black for pepper.

What are the oldest salt and pepper shakers? ›

The earliest known salt shaker debuted in 1858, shares The Intelligencer, and was credited to John Mason, who was also the inventor of the mason jar. Despite this revolutionary design, it still took more than 60 years for salt shakers to break into the mainstream and become the kitchen table staple they are today.

Does anyone collect salt and pepper shakers? ›

Today, vintage salt and pepper shakers are a joy to collect for many of the same reasons they were when people first started collecting them - they come in an astounding array of styles, colors, and materials, and are still quite affordable. Even higher-end companies joined in on the shaker trend!

How to sell a collection of salt and pepper shakers? ›

You can sell them on Facebook. There are many groups where you can sell shakers. Our Club has a private Facebook group where members can post the info.

What collectibles are hot right now? ›

Some of the hottest collectibles in 2023 include classic cars, fine art, antique houseware, sports memorabilia, coins, toys, rock'n'roll memorabilia, fine wines, vintage jewelry and more.

How do you know which one is the pepper shaker? ›

The short answer is that it varies by culture and also current health trends. Those wishing to limit their sodium intake (aka, those in the United States) use the top with the fewest holes in it for the salt. Practically speaking though, the real answer is to use whichever top gives you the result you want.

How much are the shakers worth? ›

As of September 2021, Bloomberg estimated that the Sackler family's wealth had dropped to about $11 billion.

What are the ages of salt and pepper? ›

Cheryl "Salt" James was born on March 28, 1966, she is 53 years old. Deidre 'Spinderella' Roper was Born on August 3, 1971, she is 48 years old. Sandra "Pepa" Jacqueline Denton was born November 9, but sources vary on the year, being either 1964 or 1969. She is 50 or 55 years old.

What are the bumps on the bottom of salt and pepper shakers? ›

According to, the intended purpose of the ridges was this, To prevent that condensation from causing the container to slide on the surface it sits on, Smith claims ridges are added to prevent breaks and spills in the kitchen or on the dinner table.

Who has the most salt and pepper shakers in the world? ›

Nestled serenely among the picturesque Smoky Mountains lies Gatlinburg, Tenn., its 4,200 residents and the largest collection of salt and pepper shakers in the world.

Should you clean salt and pepper shakers? ›

A simple wipe down is great every once in a while, but a bubble bath is really what your salt and pepper shakers need. The salt and pepper shakers are some of the dirtiest things in the kitchen, so to get them clean, try this: First, fill a bowl with hot water and a teaspoon of anti-bacterial dish soap.

How do I sell my old collections? ›

If you decide to sell your collection yourself, there are many ways to go about it. Online you have auction sites like eBay. You register for an account and take photos, write a description and list the item as an auction or as a fixed price.

Where is the best place to sell collectors items? ›

Best Online Marketplaces for Selling Antiques:
  • Etsy.
  • eBay.
  • Tias.
  • Ruby Lane.
Oct 12, 2022

How do you sell declutter items? ›

Here are the top 10 best places to sell clutter online – each of these websites has pros and cons.
  1. eBay.
  2. Poshmark (higher-end)
  3. Mecari (regular end)
  4. Facebook Marketplace.
  5. Amazon.
  6. Gazelle.
  7. Decluttr (read my Declutter review here)
  8. LetGo.
Jan 31, 2020

What antiques are selling well in 2022? ›

Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern are still hot, while Art Nouveau, textiles, vintage kitchenware and more are coming in strong.
  • Antique Trader Staff.
  • Apr 5, 2022.
Apr 5, 2022

What collectibles are selling in 2022? ›

10 Best Collectible Investments
  • Investment-Grade Wine.
  • Comic Books.
  • Toys.
  • Stamps.
  • Fine Art.
  • Coins.
  • Sports Memorabilia.
  • Sneakers.

Does a salt shaker have three holes or two? ›

It depends!

The number of holes in salt and pepper shakers varies by culture, health and taste. Here in the US excessive salt is considered bad for you, so the salt shaker is the one with the fewer holes, but in parts of Europe it's the other way around.

Which salt and pepper shaker has 3 holes? ›

Some say that tradition favors a salt shaker over a pepper shaker hole-wise, with many older sets featuring two pepper holes to four salt holes. Others make the ratio a little more balanced, with three holes for salt and two for pepper.

Which salt and pepper has 3 holes? ›

An old saying to determine which went where was: three holes for PePPer because of the three "p's". On to more changes: The entrance of sea salt.

How do you identify unknown salts? ›

Students identify unknown chloride salts by (1) using a precipitation reaction to determine if the cation is a group 1 or group 2 metal, (2) performing a titration with silver nitrate to determine the formula mass of the salt, and (3) confirming the identity of the salt using a flame test.

What is the rarest type of salt? ›

Blue Persian rock salt is one of the rarest, and consequently, one of the most expensive natural salts in the world. The unique blue properties of the salt are derived through naturally occurring deposits of Potassium Chloride crystals known as Sylvite.

How can you identify a salt from a name? ›

The name of a salt starts with the name of the cation (e.g., sodium or ammonium) followed by the name of the anion (e.g., chloride or acetate). Salts are often referred to only by the name of the cation (e.g., sodium salt or ammonium salt) or by the name of the anion (e.g., chloride salt or acetate salt).

Does salt and pepper have a shelf life? ›

While salt itself has no expiration date, salt products that contain iodine or seasonings that contain other ingredients such as spices, colors and flavors can deteriorate over time.

Why do chefs not use salt shakers? ›

Many say it's because a truly chef-focused restaurant should serve food that is seasoned to perfection. Others eschew the cheap, iodized table salt used in shakers. Some also swear by the cleaner aesthetic achieved by a table set without extra adornments.

What can you put in a salt shaker to keep moisture out? ›

Add raw rice grainsWhen storing it in a shaker, add a few grains of uncooked rice to avoid salt from clumping. The rice grains are known to absorb the moisture and keep the salt dry. This is considered to be one of the most effective tricks that can even help in reviving damp salt.

Are there any Shakers left in the United States? ›

By 1920, there were only 12 Shaker communities remaining in the United States. As of 2019, there is only one active Shaker village: Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, in Maine. Consequently, many of the other Shaker settlements are now museums.

Why are there only 2 Shakers left? ›

The challenging commitments of celibate, communal life have since caused the number of Shakers to dwindle from several thousand to just two. But though the Shaker tradition is now associated with a bygone era commemorated by old buildings and elegantly spare furniture, the sect is still hanging on.

How many Shakers are left? ›

At their peak, there were 5,000 Shakers. Only two remain. The faith group's impact on America's cultural and religious landscape will endure long after they're gone. Sister June in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.

How old is pep from salt and pepper? ›

What year did salt and pepper push it come out? ›

Who was the original salt and pepper group? ›

Salt-N-Pepa (also stylized as Salt 'N' Pepa or Salt 'N Pepa) is an American hip-hop group formed in New York City in 1985, that comprised Salt (Cheryl James), Pepa (Sandra Denton), and DJ Spinderella (Deidra Roper).

Why do people put salt and pepper shakers upside down? ›

It seems there are tiny ridges at the bottom of your salt and pepper shakers, that when rubbed together allow for a lot more salt and pepper to flow out with minimal effort. So if you'd like to add salt to your meal, simply tip the salt shaker upside-down and rub the bottom of it with the bottom of your pepper shaker.

What are the black specks in salt shaker? ›

The product being a natural evaporite may contain occasional minute inclusions of extraneous matter from the crystal growing environment. This extraneous matter may manifest itself as black specks or a light colored material, neither of which is harmful in any way.

How many holes should salt and pepper shakers have? ›

A: There isn't a definitive answer. Some sources say the salt goes in the one with the most number of holes because you use more of it. But others say since salt was so valuable, it went in the shaker with one hole. Since pre-ground pepper tastes like dust, I'd skip the whole issue.

Are all Shakers celibate? ›

They called themselves the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, but because of their ecstatic dancing the world called them the Shakers. The Shakers were celibate, they did not marry or bear children, yet theirs is the most enduring religious experiment in American history.

Who is the salted pepper lady? ›

My name is Louise and I'm a down to-earth person who loves to cook and share my love of food with people. I've been creating recipes for as long as I can remember and it's a dream come true to share them with you.

Why does salt shaker have one hole? ›

[13] In the UK, salt was often poured onto the side of one's plate and used for dipping, rather than shaken across the whole dish, hence salt cellars having a single, larger, hole.

What is the difference between a pepper mill and a pepper grinder? ›

A pepper mill, also referred to as a pepper grinder, passes peppercorns through burrs to grind them into fragments.

What are the different types of salt and pepper shakers? ›

Types of salt and pepper shakers

The three most common are manual, electric (actually, battery-operated), and glass with stainless steel.

Are salt and pepper shaker collections valuable? ›

There are different salt and pepper shakes all around the world that are worth a significant amount of money, from the vintage sets from the 1950s to the current ones made with precious materials. You may not know the value of your salt and pepper shaker set—and you can possibly be sitting on a gold mine.

How do you clean vintage silver salt and pepper shakers? ›

Some people swear by ketchup or lemon juice. Others advise using salt, flour and vinegar, with about 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of vinegar and enough flour to make a paste. Either way, rub it on, wait a few minutes and rub again, then rinse and dry.

What collectors items are not worth keeping? ›

And now on to our list of the 9 collectibles that have less value than you think.
  • Cameras. Digital cameras have changed the way people take, store, and think about photographs. ...
  • Beanie Babies. ...
  • DVD and VHS collections. ...
  • Hummel figurines. ...
  • Morgan dollars. ...
  • Indian-head pennies. ...
  • Franklin Mint items. ...
  • Baseball-card collections.
Feb 26, 2020

What old household items are worth money? ›

15 surprisingly valuable things you might have lying around the...
  • Old Magazines. If you're one of those people that find it hard to through away magazines, it may have been worth those years of lugging them around. ...
  • Vintage Furniture. ...
  • Old cameras. ...
  • Rare coins or notes. ...
  • Books. ...
  • Stamps. ...
  • Old china. ...
  • Glassware.
Jun 2, 2022

What is the most sought after collectable? ›

Most Valuable Types of Collections in the World
  • Thoroughbred Horses. ...
  • Jewelry and Gems. ...
  • Stamps. ...
  • Fabergé Eggs. ...
  • Classic and Exotic Cars. ...
  • Fine Wines. ...
  • Chinese Porcelain. ...
  • Timepieces.

What collector item is most valuable? ›

Top 10 Most Valuable Types of Collectibles in the World
  • Stamp Collecting. ...
  • Trading Card Collecting. ...
  • Movie Collectibles. ...
  • Collectible Watches. ...
  • Collectible Wine. ...
  • Antique Collectibles. ...
  • Collectible Cars. ...
  • Collectible Hand Bags.

What are collectors looking for in 2022? ›

10 Best Collectible Investments
  • Investment-Grade Wine.
  • Comic Books.
  • Toys.
  • Stamps.
  • Fine Art.
  • Coins.
  • Sports Memorabilia.
  • Sneakers.

How do I know if my stuff is valuable? ›

Try sites such as What's It Worth to You, Value My Stuff, and Worth Point. If you're searching for the tax-deductible value of items that have been donated, you can use valuation sites, tax preparation companies (such as Turbo Tax) or the Salvation Army.

How do you know if an antique is valuable? ›

Visiting a local appraiser is an excellent option, especially if they're in a local shop or if they're a dealer of collectable and unique items. These individuals will research the market value of your antique, offer a fair judgment of the antique, and provide you with a written report with the antique's estimate.


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