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Kim's Salt and Pepper Shaker Page
Shaker Basics

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On this page, you will be able to learn some of the vocabulary associated with collecting shakers. You will also learn what to look for and what to watch out for. You will also learn about caring for your collection.

What to look for when buying shakers!

There are a number of things you should look for when buying shakers, including:

*Quality-look for good detail, paint that will not flake off, and heavier ceramics. You will want something that will last.

*Appropriate markings-if you are looking for a particular set by a particular manufacturer, carefully check to make sure that all of the destinctive characteristics match. Also, look for a manufacturer's label. Some items look like the real thing, but are reproductions. This is not important to all collectors, but worth noting.

*Uniqueness-many sets are mass produced, but finding a unique set is truly wonderful. You can find interesting and unique sets anywhere where people sell their old stuff (yard sales, flea markets, etc.). Look for sets that make you smile, rather than the sets that "everyone" has.

*Souvenir shakers-these are a great way to remember a vacation or special spot!

What to watch out for!

There are a number of things that you should be careful of when buying shakers, including:

*Chips or cracks: these may be harmless and hidden. Some may make your set less valuable. They may also indicate that the piece has been dropped, and that there are other problems like hairline cracks. These may cause the piece to break more easily.

*Repaired pieces: some collectors have gotten very good at repairing cracks in such a way that it is difficult to detect the repair. A repair may have the same results as a chip or a crack (loss of value and increase in likelihood of breaking).

*Paying too much: this particular pitfall happens most often with auctions. Do your research, and know how much you should pay for the piece. Also, know that not all the values in the price guides are correct. They should only serve as a guide.

Caring for your shakers!

Keeping your shakers in good condition insures that you will have them to enjoy for many years to come.

*Prevent breakage: Keep small children from handling delicate pieces. Be sure to store your shakers in a place that is inaccessible to your furry family members, as well. If you allow people to handle your shakers, be aware that accidents happen. You will be required to forgive any breaks as a result of allowing others to handle them!

*Dusting: If you do not want to dust your shakers often, you should store them in cases where they will be protected. If you like your shakers out in the open, you will need to dust them. If you dust your shakers, be very careful with dusting spray. Many sprays can build up on shakers. If you are concerned, invest in an electrostatic cloth.

*Cataloging: Many collectors (especially those of us who are obsessive compulsive) find it helpful to keep a record of their shakers. There are a variety of methods including computer databases, index cards, and notebooks. Many keep track of the name of the piece, the manufacturer, purchase details, and values. If you would like a sample from my notebook, please email me.

Terminology

This is by no means a complete list. If you don't find a term, please email me. I will try to add it.

Not all terms have examples as I am still looking for an example that would be easily recognizable. If you have ideas for examples, please email me.

Anthro or anthropomorphic: These are shakers that are not in human shapes, but have human faces. One of the more popular examples of anthro are fruit with faces.

Go togethers (or Go withs): These are shakers that go together (duh!). They are not identical, but share a common theme. One example of go togethers is the set that contains a cowboy hat and a cowboy boot.

Hangers: These are sets that have a base. The shakers hang off of the base. One example is the bellhop set. The bellhop is the base, and the suitcases that hang from his hands are the shakers.

Kissers: These are shakers that appear to be kissing.

Nesters: These are shakers where one shaker fits into an indentation in the other shaker.

Salinopeperophilia: The love of salt and pepper shakers!!

Stackers: These are shakers where one shaker fits on top of the other shaker.

Tallboys (or longboys): These are very long shakers (or tall shakers depending on how you look at them). They have the salt at one end and the pepper at the other. Many are in the shape of animals.

Shaker Trivia

Did you know:

*In the United States, the salt shaker is usually displayed on the right and the pepper shaker on the left.

*Many people believe that the salt shaker is the shaker with more holes or larger holes.