A great gift idea for home cooks any time of the year is salt and pepper shakers. I've been collecting them for years but the majority of my collection were purchased from my mom many years ago. I was visiting my parents in Florida for Christmas and we got talking about my mom's antique business and how she was ready to stop collecting antique salt and pepper shakers and start collecting something new. I said, "I'll buy the collection".
So we negotiated a price but one of the stipulations for the sale was I had to unwrap and check out every shaker piece by piece and we're talking about more than 100 pairs. So my dad made some adult beverages and we got to work. I pulled down 3 or 4 boxes from the closet and began unwrapping each pair one at a time.
There were shakers for every occasion - Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays, weddings, summertime, winter. After a few drinks and dozens of salt and pepper shakers, we were laughing so hard that I started renegotiating the price per pair. By the time we were done, my mom made me a very generous offer and that's how I started my collection of salt and pepper shakers.
I'm new to Pinterest but what a perfect place to display some of my own shakers plus some fun and interesting ones I find on the Internet. You can find the start of my Pinterest board at The Reluctant Gourmet's Pinterest.
The Complete Salt and Pepper Shaker BookIf you are a collector or are thinking about becoming one, there is a great book available that is discribed as "The largest, most comprehensive and colorful guide to salt and pepper shakers ever published!" This book by Mike Schneider includes more than 1,600 sets of shakers with color photographs of each. It was published back in 1993 but it should give you a good idea of what those shakers your Aunt Rose gave you are worth.
As one review at Amazon said,
If you are going to own just one book on salt & peppers, this is the one in which to invest. It is quite comprehensive and very well organized.
Christmas Holiday ShakersI'll also post some of the photos for the Christmas season here. I'll have to add to it over time since I only have room to display a third of the collection at one time so I try to rotate them once a year and I never know what I'm going to find.