Vintage salt and pepper shakers
Vintage salt and pepper shakers compared to those made today had more conservative and traditional designs. Though highly collectible, vintage shakers are relatively inexpensive and cheap. Designs
Shakers made during the 18th to the 19th centuries typically had rounded tops and pear-shaped bodies, though there were others that had a cylindrical form. Staffordshire potteries produced salt and pepper shakers during the 19th century that had novelty designs such as big hats and pink cheeks.
During the 1900s, shakers that had entertainment characters painted or printed in them such as Laurel and Hardy were very popular. Later on, Staffordshire companies produced shakers that bore more respectful figures in them such as legendary cricket players.
During the 20th century, a number of shaker designs emerged in the US. Initially, shakers that had a clean polished look became the standard. Later, newer designs took over such those that had a square shape and a metal lid. These shakers (which are also made of milk glass) had sides that were painted with simple designs such as flowers, windmills, and dogs. The lids typically had one hole for pepper and several holes for salt.
Some manufacturers on the other hand placed dots forming the letters P or S at the top of shakers to inform or remind users of the contents inside.
During the 1930s, McKee Glass Company, regarded as one of the first companies to produce cookie jars, made square shakers that featured Art Deco style letterings. Instead of using milk white (which was prevalent during that time), they painted their shakers with darker colors such as ruby, jadite, and amber.
Ceramic shakers were also highly saleable during this period, with Fiesta being one of the better known companies that produced and sold such wares. Their shaker models were designed to complement and match some of the dinnerware pieces that they made. Fiesta shakers usually were small, round, and came in either persimmon or green. Harlequin, a sister company of Fiesta, also had their own line of shakers that were designed like ice cream cones.
During World War II, Blackmoor style ceramic shakers became the trend. Images used in these shakers were typically either that of a chef or an African American Mammy. The head of a Mammy usually was topped with a bow, while chefs donned a white hat.
Many vintage salt and pepper shakers that are considered highly collectible today were also made during this time. McCoy shakers took inspiration from vegetables, while Enesco produced ones that were designed like small creatures such as snails and mice. Parkcraft shakers were shaped like US states and Lefton used images of bluebirds and a kitten character named Miss Priss. Many Napco shakers on the other hand featured an angelic looking character named Miss Cutie Pie.
The 1950s and 1960s ushered in a new trend in shakers. Around this period, plastic was starting to become a material of choice of manufacturers. Plastic being very flexible allowed companies to make new and more complicated shaker designs such as washing machines, toasters, and even lawn mowers.
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