18 Rare Salt and Pepper Shakers (Identifying Features & Costs)

We all know that old, vintage utensils like drinkware and dinnerware are precious collectibles. But have you ever thought that even small items like salt & pepper shakers can add charm to vintage collections?

If you haven’t, it’s high time you do! Filtered by my keen eye, here’s a list of unique, limited-edition, and rare salt & pepper shakers, with their prices, identification tips, and much more!

Key Takeaways

  • Detailed pig-shaped Edwardian salt & pepper shakers are the rarest and most valuable set, costing over $3,000. 
  • Unique-shaped Sterling Silver Shakers, like the Knowles Hand-Hammered Silver Shakers and Repousse Jenkins & Jenkins Shakers, are a great addition to vintage collections. 
  • Rare shakers from prominent brands like Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and Gorham fetch high returns. 

What Makes a Salt and Pepper Shaker Rare & Unique?

Rare Wooden Salt and Pepper Shakers

We’ve been using salt & pepper shakers for years, and we’ve mostly seen common materials like glass, plastic, and stainless steel with simplistic shapes and designs.

But back in the old times, even these tableware items were a way of displaying art and craft. That, along with the given features, is what makes them rare!

  • Precious materials, such as sterling silver, porcelain, gold, crystal, etc. 
  • Intricate decoration with detailed, unique designs
  • Unique shapes of shakers (animal-shaped, rectangular, egg-shaped, etc.)
  • Figurial shakers with various themes like Christmas, Easter, etc. 
  • Unique vintage patterns like Man in the Moon and Huggers
  • Rare branded models from the old era

A List of 18 Rarest Salt & Pepper Shaker Sets with Estimate Costs

Let’s explore the 18 rarest and most valuable salt & pepper shakers that you would love to have in your antique collection!

1. Edwardian Sterling Silver Pig Salt and Pepper Shakers 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/155303887752444674/

These rare salt and pepper shakers are molded in the form of pigs. You will find very detailed embossment reflecting the skin and anatomical details of a real pig, which makes it quite rare and valuable!

Rare Features to Spot: 

  • A big hole in the snout on the salt shaker and many small holes on the face on the pepper shaker
  • A tiny spiral tail at the back
  • Brand markings on the top and the bottom lid
Estimated Cost$2,500 – $3,000
BrandsRobert Pringle & Sons
MaterialSterling Silver
Age1900s – 1940s

2. Francis I by Reed and Barton Silver Salt and Pepper 

Francis I is a unique silver salt and pepper shaker set that oozes luxury. It showcases a vintage scrolly monogram on its body that displays early 20th-century craftsmanship. Besides, these shakers will be heavier than other newer models.

Unique Collectible Features: 

  • Detailed hand-chased floral decoration
  • Wide circular base 
  • Gold-washed top on the salt shaker 
  • “Francis I” carved at the bottom
Estimated Price$2,000 – $2, 500
Brand/MakerReed and Barton
MaterialSterling Silver
Age20th Cent

You can check if your shakers are Sterling steel or not by using a magnet. If there’s no force, it’s real Sterling Steel. Or tap your shaker with a coin; if it makes a sharp, high-pitched bell-like noise. It is sterling silver!

3. Knowles Hand-Hammered Sterling Silver Salt and Pepper Shakers 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/97108935725148266/

This set of tinted Sterling Silver shakers stands out from regular salt & pepper shakers because of their unique rectangular chambers. Rustic and solid, these shakers have tomb-like circular tops with outlets on the top. You will see the uneven surface on the bodies, hinting towards their hand-hammered make!

Key Visible Features: 

  • Hand-chased floral patterns like bright-cut leaves, flowers, and geometric design
  • Manufacturing date carved on the rim 
  • Stoppers/lids at the bottom
Estimated Price$1,200 – $1,350
Brand/MakersKnowles of Providence, RI
MaterialSterling Silver
Age1884

4. Mt Washington Chicken Head Salt & Pepper Shakers

These unique salt & pepper shakers have egg-shaped glass chambers with chicken head-shaped removable dispensers on the top. You will see intricate enameled floral patterns in pastel colors on the body!

Rare Features to Spot: 

  • Off-white (yellowish) glass body
  • Dispensing outlets on the top of the heads
  • Detailed carving on the chicken head for fur texture
  • Flat bottoms for stability
Estimated Cost$1,500 – $1,800
BrandMt Washington
StyleVictorian
MaterialGlass
Year1850s – 1880s

5. The 1977 Patterned Sterling Silver Salt and Pepper Shakers

At first, this salt and pepper shaker set may not look like it’s made of Sterling Silver, but it actually is! The hallmarked shakers have plain grayish cylindrical chambers, and on the top, you will spot golden patterned dispensers!

Notable Identification Features: 

  • One outlet/hole on one shaker and seven holes (in a uniform circular pattern) on the other shaker
  • Stoppers at the bottom
  • Engraved marks like a “female profile,” “a leopard’s head,” “lion,” and the initials JH with a letter C
Estimated Price $1,500 – $1,600
BrandJH
MaterialSterling Silver
AgeLate 1970s

6. Georg Jensen Denmark Bernadotte 902 Salt Pepper Shakers 

This Sterling Silver Shaker set speaks of minimalist craftsmanship back in the 90s. You will see two simple identical cylindrical shakers with a neat vertical line design across their heights. This set also comes with two silver salt cellars enameled on the inside, making it valuable!

Key Features to Spot:

  • Outlet holes on the top in a cross shape
  • Steel screw lids at the bottom
  • Brand markings, “902,” “Denmark,” “Sterling,” and numbers carved on the bottom lids
Estimated Cost$1000 – $1,300
Brand/MakerGeorg Jensen
MaterialSterling Silver
Age1900s – 1940s

7. Carl Auböck “The Bombs” Horn Salt and Pepper Shakers 

Unique and rustic, this Mid-Century Modern shaker set has two conical shakers with round heads, fully made of horns. This set comes with a bamboo cup as the holder.

Key Identification Features:

  • Nearly four inches long
  • Different color shakers for salt (off-white) and pepper (black)
  • Removable heads with screw-closure 
Estimated Price$600 – $1,800
BrandCarl Auböck
MaterialHorn, Bamboo
Age1940s – 60s

8. Cartier and Redlich Co Silver Salt Cellars and Pepper Shakers

Another rare Sterling Silver Shaker set! These Cartier and Redlich shakers look simple with their minimal design, but it is highly precious. You can identify this with its long tomb-like curved shape and its three curved feet.

Notable Precious Features: 

  • Removable cobalt-colored inserts inside the silver salt cellars
  • “C A O” embossed on the lower body of the shakers and cellars
  • Removable doomed tops with outlets in checkered pattern 
  • A layered, steps-like detailing around the feet and joints 
Estimated Cost$800 – $900
BrandCartier
MaterialSterling Silver
AgeN/A

9. Anthropomorphic Chipmunks Salt & Pepper Shaker

The vintage anthropomorphic salt-pepper shakers are quite the attractors in the antique markets. The reason? Their hand-crafted realistic features! This ceramic Chipmunk-style salt and pepper shaker showcases refined hand-crafting in detailed eyes, mouth, and other features.

Notable Features to Look For: 

  • A black hat on the pepper shaker and a yellowish, cream-colored hat on the salt shaker
  • A colorful bow at the neck of the shakers
  • Roughy carved outlets on the hats
  • “Japan” printed on the bottom
  • Stopper at the base instead of a lid
Estimated Price $600 – $700
BrandN/A
MaterialCeramic
Age1950s

10. Egg-Shaped Sterling Silver Salt And Pepper Shakers

As the name says, this egg-shaped polished steel shaker is one of the most unique collectibles from the Victorian era. These shakers have shiny, round bodies, round screw-top lids, and round legs.

Important Features to Look For: 

  • Outlet holes on the top/lid making a star shape
  • Three tiny spherical legs at the bottom to form a stand
  • A tiny spherical handle on the top/domed lid
  • Brand markings (H&T) on the bottom
  • No specific engraved patterns on the body
Estimated Price$500 – $550
BrandsHilliard & Thomason, William Hutton & Sons
MaterialSterling Steel
Age1850s-1890s

11. Tiffany & Co. Gilt Salt & Pepper Shakers

This Victorian-style Sterling Steel salt and pepper shaker set from Tiffany & Co. is enough to add a lavish touch to any antique collection. With a decorative curved metal body, you can spot these with its smooth finishes and tight-fitting lids.

Unique Identification Features: 

  • Detachable top with a doom featuring a spiral design
  • Pierced and repoussed decoration
  • Ringed base with brand name, origin, making year carved on it
  • Engraved horizontal (circular) linings around the body
  • Gilt with gold or gold plated
Estimated Price$600
BrandTiffany & Co. 
MaterialCoated Sterling Steel
Age1900s – 1940s

12. Gorham Figural ‘Man in the Moon’ Sterling Salt & Pepper Set

As we’ve seen, most Sterling Silver salt & pepper shakers are valuable collectibles from the 1850s to 1890s. But what makes this set precious is its rare Man in the Moon pattern.

You will see a detailed face engraved on the front, including all features like eyes, eyebrows, nose, ears, and mouth, making it a perfect display of Victorian craftsmanship.

Key Identification Features: 

  • Colorful glass eyes
  • Detailed carved linings on the back
  • Outlet holes in a connected spiral pattern on the top
  • Filling screwed lid on the bottom with “Sterling” engraved on it
Estimated Price $500
BrandGorham
MaterialSterling Steel
Age1850-1899

13. Japanese Lantern Chamber Salt Pepper Shaker

This Japanese salt and pepper shaker set is quite rare because of its limitedly available lantern style. It literally looks like a Japanese standing stone lantern. So, you’ll see four legs, a thick round top with a small spherical handle surrounded by outlets, and a hexagonal chamber.

Notable Features: 

  • Artificial shoji windows and two Mon combs on the main chamber
  • Brand name engraved on the base
Estimated Price$500 – $600
Brand/MakerN/A
MaterialSterling Silver 921
Age1900s

14. Holt Howard Snow Baby Salt and Pepper Shakers

As the name suggests, this is a snow baby figurine salt and pepper shaker set perfect for a thematic collection. It features two snow babies covered in white with bright red gloves. You will also see handpainted S and P letters on the salt and pepper shakers, respectively.

Unique features to Spot: 

  • Clumsy hand-painted design
  • Uneven outlet holes on the baby’s head
  • A blue-colored print on the shakers’ back
Estimated Price$350 – $400
BrandHolt Howard
MaterialCeramic
AgeLate 1950s

15. Corbell Silver Owl Salt & Pepper Shakers 

This rare fine silver salt & pepper shaker set catches the attention of every collector, thanks to its unique Art Deco patterns. Highlighted by their large glass eyes, these owl-shaped shakers display fine craftsmanship in their ornate features and skin texture!

Rare Features to Spot: 

  • Large inset glass eyes
  • Removable heads (lids) for filling
  • Unpolished, textured surface
  • Embossed with the hallmark for ‘Edinburgh’ and makers mark ‘Corbell & Co’
Estimated Price$800
BrandCorbell Silver
MaterialSilver
Age 1950s

16. Repousse Jenkins & Jenkins Open Salts Pepper Shakers

This limited edition salt pepper shaker set can be identified with its rare intricate repousse floral pattern. But what’s more interesting is that this set has two open salt cellars and two pepper shakers.

Key Features to Spot: 

  • Three outwardly curved legs on the shakers
  • Removable doomed lids on the top with outlets
  • Curly monogram “BHT” engraved on the bottom along with the brand’s name & logo
  • Visible join seams on the bottom (around the legs)
Estimated Price$500 – $600
BrandJenkins & Jenkins Inc.
MaterialSterling Silver
Age1900s – 1915

17. Noritake Japan Flapper Ladies Salt and Pepper Shakers

These Japanese lusterware shakers are extremely adorable and rare. Featuring the flapper lady style, these hand-painted shakers give a nostalgic feel. You can spot these with their uneven egg-like shape with a small flat round base with the stopper.

Identification Features for Help:

  • Flapper hats on the top
  • Heart-shaped mouths and spit curls on the face
  • Cork stopped at the bottom
  • “Noritake” printed (in Japanese) on the stoppers
Estimated Cost$300 – $400
BrandNoritake
MaterialCeramic
Age1920s – 1949

18. Japanese Meiji Satsuma Kutani Salt And Pepper Shakers 

While not as expensive as Sterling silver, Japanese porcelain is a valuable material. And that’s what makes this shaker set rare and special. You can easily spot it with its Japanese vase-shaped body made of off-white porcelain with golden detailing!

Precious Features: 

  • Hand Painted golden bamboo tree and leaves patterns on the chambers & floral design on the neck
  • Uneven hand-chased outlet/holes all around the top
  • Markings in Japanese at the bottom
Estimated Cost$450 – $500
BrandSatsuma
StyleJapanese Scenic Design
MaterialPorcelain
Age1870s

If you’re looking for perfect vintage tableware set, this exclusive list is enough for you to get the rarest and most unique set of salt and pepper shakers. Just don’t forget to verify the key features to avoid making an unprofitable purchase!

Apart from valuable shakers, you can also add rare Milk glass pieces to your collection to make it even more high-end! And my guide will help you make the best bids! 

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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