Collecting Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers

Kate Miller-Wilson

Ultimate Kitsch: Collecting Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers

If you love vintage style and kitschy kitchen charm, nothing beats collecting vintage salt and pepper shakers. You'll find these beauties at antique shops, flea markets, thrift stores, and even garage sales. They make a fun, affordable, and unique collection you can spend years assembling.

Vintage Dog Salt and Pepper Shakers

These vintage dog shakers practically scream mid-century awesome. The pastel shades and chearful, kitschy appeal make them a great everyday shaker set or a cute addition to any collection. You'll find many variations on this style of shaker at vintage shops and thrift stores.

Van Tellingen Huggers

Vintage salt and pepper shakers come in lots of appealing styles. The Van Tellingen "Huggers" were designed in 1947. This particular style is very popular with those who collect Black Americana, although it can also be a controversial collecting choice.

Art Deco "Made in Japan" Shakers

This is a tiny set of personal salt and pepper shakers, hand painted in classic Art Deco style, and stamped, "Japan". These are from the 1930s and show no crazing or chipping of paint. They still have the original cork stoppers.

Nippon Hand Painted Salt and Pepper Shakers

These delicate salt and pepper shakers are hand painted Nippon china. Probably made in Japan before 1920, these show no signs of crazing and only a small amount of chipping. They are a lovely addition to a formal table.

Dutch Boy and Girl Figural Salt and Pepper

These hand painted salt and pepper shakers are in the shape of a Dutch boy and girl. Although the feature the classic blue and white coloring of Delft china, they were made in Japan. They are sweet and stylish, and they would look pretty on a table with blue dishes or Blue Willow china.

Fitz and Floyd Elves Shakers

Holiday-themed shakers can be a collection on their own or part of a larger group. These vintage salt and pepper shakers are part of the Fitz and Floyd Christmas Collection from the mid-1980s. Fitz and Floyd items were immediately collectible due to the superior workmanship and detail.

Christmas Set of Unknown Origin

Collecting salt and pepper shakers of unknown origin is fun as well. This festive salt and pepper set is probably from the early 1970s, and it makes a great addition to a holiday salt and pepper shaker collection or any kind of grouping of vintage holiday decorations.

Pink Spun Aluminum and Bakelite Shakers

This Westbend Pink Aluminum salt and pepper set was part of a canister set from the 1950s. It has that sleek mid-century feel that is so versatile. You'll love the way these look as part of a collection or in use on your table.

Vintage Souvenir Salt and Pepper Shakers

When people travelled in the early and middle part of the 20th century, they enjoyed buying souvenir figurines and collectibles to mark their journey. Souvenir salt and pepper shakers like these adorable Dachshunds from Florida, make a charming addition to any shaker collection.

Hand-Painted Salt and Pepper Shakers

People have always loved creating things, and some of the most appealing vintage salt and pepper shakers are those decorated by regular people. These pretty hand-painted shakers were probably made in the 1980s, and they would look gorgeous in any collection.

Vintage Plastic Salt and Pepper Shakers

Vintage shakers don't have to be china, metal, or glass. In fact, there are lots of adorable plastic salt and pepper sets to collect at thrift stores. Plastic was a big deal in the early 20th century, and you'll find sets made of bakelite and other early plastics, as well as more modern plastic materials.

Egg-Shaped Shakers

You'll find vintage shakers in all kinds of shapes, including the shape of food! These egg-shaped shakers are adorable on a breakfast table, or they would be perfect for an Easter meal. You can find these vintage designs in all different colors.

Vintage Green Milk Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers

If you love collecting milk glass or want to outfit a Hoosier cabinet with its original vintage canisters, look for beautiful vintage milk glass salt and pepper shakers. These soft green ones likely date to the 1920s or 1930s and would look beautiful in a modern kitchen.

When Vintage Shakers Become Antiques

Technically, a vintage kitchen collectible is usually less than 100 years old, but there are salt and pepper shakers that are older. If you're in the market for an antique set, engraved metal or chased silver can be beautiful. Shakers get harder to find as you go back in time, since salt used to be served in a "cellar," or small dish with a tiny spoon. You can still find antique examples from the turn of the century, however.

Start Your Salt and Pepper Shaker Collection Today

Because salt and pepper shakers can be very affordable, there's no reason to wait to start your collection. You can get a vintage set for under five dollars to start you off. From there, you'll have fun deciding where to take your hobby. You can specialize in animal-shaped shakers, souvenir sets, holiday salt and pepper sets, or anything else that strikes your fancy. It's all about having fun!

Kate Miller-Wilson
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Collecting Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers