10 Most Valuable Antique Salt and Pepper Shakers Ever Sold

For centuries, salt and pepper shakers have seen great use on the dining tables and kitchens of people of varying classes and statuses.

Not only do they serve as containers for storing salt and pepper used to spice food, their designs, intriguing shapes and striking features have made them super collectibles in recent times.

Regular antique Salt and Pepper shakers may cost anywhere between $10-$100 dollars, while limited edition pieces and other special runs can go for as high as $500-$1000. However, one Disney Salt and Pepper shaker set the pace for others as the most expensive in the world. It stands at a whopping $100,000 according to verified sources.

Who would’ve thought antique salt and pepper shakers had any intrinsic value? Well, we did and we promise to show you how much weight they hold in this article.

(Source: Pinterest)

Early Salt and Pepper Shaker History

The first salt shaker was manufactured in 1858 by John Mason, an American Tinsmith. This was also the man responsible for the screw-top Mason jar. His salt shaker invention, however, did not get widely accepted until the early 1920s.

From the late 1850s to the 1880s, salt shakers went by different names like dredge, spice, and condiment boxes.

Back then, salt had high historical value and served as a sign of high social and economic status among households. This honor associated with salt stemmed from its scarcity and inflated price.

When the great depression of the1930s came; this aided in increasing the popularity of salt and pepper shakers and woke up a movement among ceramic makers who saw it as another means to infiltrate the market.

The ceramic pieces exist in unique shapes and sizes and typically have small holes to control the amount of seasoning poured.

Fast forward to the 1950s and 1960s, companies began making salt and pepper shakers in plastic containers. Plastic, as we all know, is a very fragile material, hence production was short-lived, making the few plastic models still around today very valuable.

 Here is a video highlighting the history and evolution of the salt and pepper shakers.

10 Most Valuable Antique Salt and Pepper Shakers

We’ve done you the honors and curated 10 of the most valuable antique salt and pepper shakers out there. It is crucial you know that the prices indicated here are subject to change.

S/N Name Release Date Price
1.  George Jensen Sterling Silver Salt and Pepper Shakers 1930-1939 $1,502
2.  Mt. Washington Salt and Pepper Shakers 1885 $899.99
3.   Japanese Meiji Satsuma Kutani Salt and Pepper Shakers 1870 $497.17
4.  Western Santa and Mrs. Claus Salt and Pepper Shakers 1950s $129.00
5.   Mckee Rock Crystal Green Salt and Pepper Shaker 1915 $105
6.  Adventureland Native Salt and Pepper 1960 $100
7.  Libbey Glass Egg Shaped Salt and Pepper Shakers 1893 $35
8.  Van Telligen Huggers Salt and Pepper Shakers 1947 $24.99
9.  Riverside EAPG Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers 1898 $18.00  
10.  Fitz and Floyd Elves Shakers 1980 $9.99

1. George Jensen Sterling Silver Salt and Pepper Shakers

Release Date: 1930-1939

Price: $1,502

1. George Jensen Sterling Silver Salt and Pepper Shakers
(Source: 1stDibs)

This antique sterling silver salt and pepper shaker was manufactured in Denmark by George Jensen limited company. It weighs a massive 59 grams and has an excellent finish.

2.Mt. Washington Salt and Pepper Shakers

Release Date: 1885

Price: $899.99

2.Mt. Washington Salt and Pepper Shakers
(Source: eBay)

Here we have a 4ft Frederick Shirly designed tall Burmese ribbed shaker set from 1885 designed for the Mt. Washington glass company. The variation of colors pink and yellow you see on its body was achieved by adding uranium oxide and Gold to the initial glass batch.

3. Japanese Meiji Satsuma Kutani Salt and Pepper Shakers

Release Date: 1870

Price: $497.17

3. Japanese Meiji Satsuma Kutani Salt and Pepper Shakers
(Source: eBay)

All the way from Japan, these shakers will steal your heart. These are handmade and hand-painted Japanese pieces produced by the Satsuma company in the 1870s. They look like small covered vases with spectacular gold bamboo designs.

4. Western Santa and Mrs. Claus Salt and Pepper Shakers

Release Date: 1950s

Price: $129.00

4. Western Santa and Mrs. Claus Salt and Pepper Shakers
(Source: eBay)

This Christmas-themed shaker featured two unique characters, the Western Santa and Mrs. Claus. This piece will instantly steal your attention as it comes in bright red hues and white and green accents to commemorate the popular holiday.

5. Mckee Rock Crystal Green Salt & Pepper Shakers

Release Date: 1915

Price: $105

5. Mckee Rock Crystal Green Salt & Pepper Shakers
(Source: Rubylane

The McKee glass company were the creators of this rare and beautiful depression glass salt and pepper shaker. The curlycue pattern on the body of the glass bottle gave an impression of cut crystal.

From research, we also found out that the unique green color of this shaker is the hardest to find.

6.Adventureland Native Salt and Pepper Shakers

Release Date: 1960

Price: $100

6.Adventureland Native Salt and Pepper Shakers
(Source: Liveauctioneers)

Here we have a salt and pepper shaker named after Disney’s Adventureland native. Adventureland is a themed lands at the numerous Disneyland-style parks operated by the Walt Disney company worldwide.

7. Libbey Glass Egg Shaped Salt and Pepper Shakers

Release Date: 1893

Price: $35.00

7. Libbey Glass Egg Shaped Salt and Pepper Shakers
(Source: Liveauctioneers)

This egg-shaped pair of shakers were sold at the Libbey glass exhibition. As you can see the year is boldly inscribed on the body and don’t be surprised by its unusual shape; salt and pepper shakers also exist in this form.

8. Van Tellingen Huggers Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

Release Date: 1947

Price: $24.99

8. Van Tellingen Huggers Salt and Pepper Shaker Set
(Source: eBay)

The collectors of Black Americana are avid fans of this 1947 set that comes with a controversial twist. The concept of Van Tellingen’s designs endeared people to his pieces; not to mention that they’re also warm and homely.

9. Riverside EAPG Glass Salt and Pepper Shaker

Release Date: 1898

Price: $18.00

9. Riverside EAPG Glass Salt and Pepper Shaker
(Source: Picclick)

Here we have the Riverside EAPG Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers. The most spectacular feature on the body of this 1898 beauty is the gold gilt.

We’d like to state here that it is very likely that you won’t find this shaker anywhere else as it’s really old and exists in a rare pattern and color.

10.Fitz and Floyd Elves Shakers

Release Date: 1980

Price: $9.99

10.Fitz and Floyd Elves Shakers
(Source: eBay)

A part of the Fitz and Floyd Christmas Collection in the mid-1980s. These pieces grew popular and became a collector’s favorite due to their intricate details and refined craftsmanship; they’re also holiday-themed and are very attractive.

What is the Difference Between a Salt and Pepper Shaker?

Salt and pepper shakers, like Siamese twins have always been seen together on dinner tables during meals. So how can you tell one from the other in case you find yourself in this situation?

Well, we do have a few tricks up our genius sleeves to make this process easy as A.B.C for you.

Color Difference

One way to spot them apart is with their color. Salt shakers were painted white (mostly because salt is whitish) while pepper shakers came in black (well, water is wet).

Apart from this, several other salt and pepper shakers came in transparent and see-through containers; this aided people in discerning the contents of the shaker.

The Size of the Shaker Holes

Another way to distinguish a salt from a pepper shaker is by quickly running your fingers across the top.

As you do this, take note of the hole sizes; salt shakers have larger outlets to make room for the grains of salt, while powdery pepper containers often have smaller holes to control portions as not everyone likes spicy foods.

The Weight of the Shaker

When it comes to how heavy they are, salt shakers take the lead; they are more weighty  than pepper shakers even when they’re filled to the same level.

The Sound of the Shakers Contents

Another quick way you can easily differentiate between these two is by shaking and listening to the sound the content in the container makes. Large salt grains usually sound loose and loud when shaken against the walls of the container.

For pepper, since they’re always fine specks they make little to no sound when they’re shaken. You might also hear a quiet sweep against the glass of the shaker.

How to Determine the Value of Antique Salt and Pepper Shakers

Antique salt and pepper shakers come in a range of varying materials, designs and shapes. Here our job is to show the best way to determine the value of an antique salt and pepper shaker.

Examine the Materials

Confirming the authenticity of the material of any antique salt and pepper shaker is a great way to determine its value. Modern-day salt and pepper shakers are usually made of plastic and steel, while most old models have ceramics and porcelain as their material.

Check for Production Marks

Reproduced items are a menace in the antique world, still so many people fall into the trap. A good way to avoid losing money and confirm the authenticity and legitimacy of an antique salt and pepper shaker will be to ensure that the antique piece is stamped.

Turn your shaker upside down to find a maker’ mark. if you see “Made in USA” or “Japan” on the base, it’s a vintage piece. The U.S. and Japan were pioneers and leading lights of the shakers industry when they picked momentum.

You’ll find the “Occupied Japan” embossment on rarer sets, which means the companies made the shakers after WWII in Japan.

Determine the Age of the Shaker

For antique salt and pepper shakers, age is crucial in determining their worth. Early 19th century shakers are worth more money than recent ones.

The reason is simple; many shakers made during that period were painstakingly and skillfully handcrafted and required m: modern pieces don’t require the same.

Identify the Design you are Dealing with

If the patterns on the bodies of your shakers tell a story or in any way help preserve the memory of a particular event or time. In that case, best believe the price will skyrocket as people are very sentimental about pieces like that.

The design of salt and pepper shakers ranges from small to plain glass containers and bigger complex models with large sizes.

Examine the Condition of the Shaker

This is a great determinant of the value of any collectible. Any salt and pepper shaker with blemishes, chipped parts, or broken bodies will decrease in value and affect whatever price tag you place on your item, no matter how expensive it seems.

There are a few exceptions to this rule however; flea bites and age wear are not considered odd when dealing with antique stuff. So, if your item has any of this, it’s still certified as good.

Determine if the Shaker Holds a Brand Name

Some manufacturers’ names are like magnets; they attract demand from buyers and collectors and induce the item’s value to command a higher price in the market.

Do your research, get familiar with the happening brand names back in the day, and check if you have their product in your attic.

Joining a Salt and Pepper Shaker Club

Clubs like the Novelty Salt and Pepper Shakers Club in the U.S. have local chapters all over the country for collectors. Simply look for their contact or walk into any meeting venue and become a member.

One of the pros of joining clubs like this is that you meet with like-minded people with years of experience, and they help you assess your antique item giving you a possible value.

Engage the Services of a Professional Antique Appraiser

We can’t stress this enough; appraisers are necessary for the collectible business. Through them, you get complete information about your item and total valuation.

There Are loads of online and offline appraisers to help you determine the value of your item, all you need to do is find them. Here are some trusted appraisers.

Track the Origin of the Shaker

Where your antique item comes from greatly affects its intrinsic value—confused on how to find out? Visit the museum or any government institution responsible for preserving antiques and check their records for information.

Don’t Forget the Library

Known as the fountain of knowledge, we can only imagine the number of textbooks and leaflets on salt and pepper shakers you will find in the golden aisles. Begin your journey today by walking into one and grabbing a book for yourself.

Get Information from Antique Shops and Flea Markets

A long, purposeful stroll into a flea market can yield many positive results, like stumbling on valuable pieces of salt and pepper shakers.

For antique shops, search through the yellow pages and walk to the end of the store for old pepper and salt shakers and ask for their values.

Where to Find Antique Salt and Pepper Shakers

We’ve conducted thorough research and compiled a list of possible places you can find antique salt and pepper shakers today.

Antique Shops, Flea Markets, Estate Sales

There are dozens of antique shops in your city or district that major in the sales of old kitchen wares like salt and pepper shakers; this should be your first point of call when looking to find these items.

Over time, people might want to clean out their pantry, garage, or yard and decide to sell off some old kitchen wares. You best believe salt and pepper shakers must make the cut.


Year after year, season after season, people with a shared interest in a particular antique item(s) come together, pick their best collection and organize an auction.

 If you’re lucky to attend any of these events, you’ll most likely find the rarest and limited-edition pieces available to collect. Check out Tpauctions and HayloftAuctions to check out shakers.


Two museums of salt and pepper shakers are located in Gatlinburg the U.S. and Guadalest Spain. They are dedicated to displaying the numerous types and history of salt and pepper shakers that have existed through the ages of the invention.

The Zupny Castle of Poland also had an impressive collection of salt shakers.

Online Sources

Sites like Liveauctioneers and 1STDibs are great places you can find and sell antique salt and pepper shakers on the internet. These sites have them in large numbers with prices attached to them to save you the stress of wondering.

Online Stores

 EBay, Etsy, Amazon and several other online stores like them have sections dedicated to antique items like these for you to choose from. Here, different buyers come to display their items at varying prices. This opens you to more choices and fits your budget.

For exclusive collections and limited-edition antique pieces, you may not find anywhere else, check Mercari, AncientPoint, and the Vatican.

Craft Fairs

The advantage of this is how organized it is. Each trader has their stall, which can aid in quick identification of whatever antique stuff you’re looking for (including antique salt and pepper shakers).

Antique Shows

Think runway, but for antique items. If you attend antique shows, you’ll find dozens or thousands of antique teacups, both limited and special editions.

Antique shows also give great chances for you to meet other collectors and trade ideas, compare collections and buy additional ones.

Antique Dealers

Dealers deal in the act of buying and selling antique collectibles. They’re trusted and tested to deliver to you should in case you’re looking for where to buy antique salt and pepper shakers. Check out newspapers and references to get their addresses or set up a meeting.

Salt and Pepper Shakers Collectors Club

Over the years, like-minded individuals who enjoy collecting antique salt and pepper shakers have found themselves and formed a club scattered all over the country and in every region.

Here they trade varieties of models among each other, including the limited edition and never before seen types.

The beauty of joining one of these collector’s clubs is you’re looking forward to something new all the time and adding one or more new items to your collection. If you don’t belong to one, join and start collecting!

Check out this video to get familiar with what they do.

Video Sources

We can’t forget the almighty YouTube and its unlimited resources to help you with places to find antique items, how to care for them, and all other essentials you need.

The good thing about YouTube is how you can access it even in the comfort of your house and seamlessly too.

How to Care for Your Antique Salt and Pepper Shakers

The quickest way to shorten the lifespan of your antique shaker is to compromise in taking proper care of it. Like everything else, paying extra attention to these items will increase the quality of their shelf life and overall condition. So, let’s get into it.

  • Soak your antique shaker in a baking soda warm water mix for a few minutes.
  • Rinse it in clean, warm water and turn it upside down to drain remaining water.
  • Use a soft, wet fabric to clean your shakers and a toothpick covered in a paper towel to reach edges too tiny for your fingers.
  • For metal shakers with signs of rusting, soak them in ammonia solution for 10 minutes and bring them out to dry.
  • The last tip is to empty your antique shakers when they’re not in use. This is done to prevent the substance from caking up and affecting the container.

Parting Words

As we bring the old to the new with antique salt and pepper shakers and help you maneuver the notorious reproduction market; here’re a few points for you to live by.

  • Unique pieces will always attract more interest, so find shakers that tell a story on your next search.
  • Always look out for earlier models; they’re rare and pricey.
  • You must never compromise on the condition of your antique items; people will only buy neat shakers.
  • Join a club to get familiar with more models of antique salt and pepper shakers and gain access to limited edition pieces.

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