Salt used to be an expensive item. To show it’s worth, containers housing it were also made of a similar worth. In fact cellars showed a persons social and economic status, the fancier the cellar the higher status you had. Imagine that! All from a salt container.
Margaret has around 100 cellars. Her collection is made up of glass and crystal cellars. Including one crystal cellar that was pulled out of the garden when renovations were undertaken at their house. Her collection began when a friend gave her a salt cellar for her birthday, a cellar that she used for daily use.
In the dining room, the collection sits in an old printers tray that is displayed vertically. It is a beautiful collection due to it’s originality and lack of knowledge people have about cellars. It seems right to have the collection displayed in the dining room, discussing the history of salt, whilst eating a delicious meal.
I knew little about the history of salt and it’s containers until I looked into it to share this post. Salt shakers that were invented in the 19th century had a hard central piece in the middle of it and when you shook it, little pieces of the salt would break off. It wasn’t until 1911 that a company added magnesium carbonate to their product that it made it possible to pour salt from a sealed container changing the way we used salt shakers and had more control of this precious resource.
I loved finding all this information. I have to say that I haven’t thought much about the history of salt but I do use a cellar myself, rock salt on one side and fine salt on the other. Have a look at some passionate people who truly love salt containers- http://www.saltandpeppershakermuseum.com -it almost makes me want to visit the museum.
Just to finish off I want to share one of Margaret’s secrets to ensure safe displaying, especially in a city with many earthquakes like Wellington. Quake wax from Kirkcaldies in Wellington city which costs around $30. Lets precious collections sit with a little more stick to side boards and printers trays! Do you have a secret displaying technique for any of your collections?