Antique Silver Trencher Salts
Maker: Thomas Harper
A handsome set of four antique sterling silver trencher salts in the rectangular form popular at the start of the...
A handsome set of four antique sterling silver trencher salts in the rectangular form popular at the start of the 18th century but actually dating to 1780. Good size. Traces of the original gilt interior.
Total weight 220 grams, 7 troy ounces.
Base 7.5 x 6 cms. Top 6 x 4.5 cms.
Maker Thomas Harper.
Literature. Antique Silver Salt Cellars are not commonly found until the 1700’s although the use of Salt Cellars is documented as early as classical Rome. During medieval times elaborate master salt cellars evolved which had not only a practical use but above all, a ceremonial importance, indicating the relative status of persons by their position at the table in relation to the large salt.
By 1600 the Trencher Salt was in use in England however these earliest examples are extremely rare and probably you won’t find a pair of trencher salts before 1690. These salts had no feet and were made in a wide range of shapes: round, oval rectangular, triangular or octagonal. The early trencher salts were often marked inside the bowl and are often badly worn through use and cleaning.
During the late 1730s the more traditional circular salt standing on 3 legs had mainly replaced the trencher salt. This shape remained popular until the late 18th century when the advent of the Industrial Revolution rendered both salt and salt cellars commonplace. From this time onwards silver salts were produced in a variety of forms, some with blue glass liners, and these become commonplace on the English dining table.
Salt Shakers began to appear in the Victorian era, however there were problems with salt clumping. It was not until after 1911, when anti-caking agents began to be added to table salt, that salt shakers gained favour and open salts began to fall into disuse.
These beautiful antique silver salts are in very good condition. Traces of the original gilt to the bowls. Each is stamped with a full set of clear English silver hallmarks. Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
Maker: Thomas Harper
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