Saturday, November 12, 2011

Petite Tresors...

Like everything else I collect, I fell in love with these precious petite tresors many years ago and my collection has grown through the years... salt dips and salt cellars were used from as far back as Medieval times through about the 1940's, mainly by wealthy families who lavishly used them on their dinner tables... salt was considered a luxury in those days... it also was not iodized back then and would not pour from a box... thus, salt cellars and salt dips were used to carefully spoon the salt onto your meal... most often a salt cellar, which is larger than a salt dip, was placed at the head of the table... then, individual salt dips (sometimes called open salts or simply "salts") were placed at each table setting... each with a tiny salt spoon... most of the little spoons are made from sterling silver with some silver plated ones... the head of the family usually filled the individual little dishes and passed them down the table... in the photo below, several of my purple pressed glass salt dips... purple pressed glass dates to pre~ 1920... sometimes called "sun purple" it is actually not from the sun initially at all... before 1921, manganese was used in the glass which caused it to discolor... these little salts were once clear... I love purple pressed glass and collect that as well in assorted beautiful other pieces... it is true the longer it sits in the sun, the deeper purple it will become over the years... also shown are some of my extra salt spoons... the purple pressed glass piece in the top photo is a vintage toothpick holder I keep my extra salt spoons in...

The teeny spoons are harder and harder to find these days... you won't like the reason any more than I do... drug users buy them to use with their drugs... one of my dear friends who has been in the antiques business for over 50 years and from whom I have learned so much will not sell a spoon without a salt dip to unsavory looking individuals... this has discouraged a number of the creeps from buying them for illegal purposes... below are some of my handpainted porcelain dips...

My sister Jill gave me this gorgeous Depression glass dip and spoon...

Another purple pressed glass one...

Just so petite and sparkly... pure enchantment to me...

The larger of the two in the photo below is a salt cellar... you can see the difference in size as it sits next to a salt dip... salt cellars usually have a lid on them as well to keep the salt dry... this beautiful salt cellar was also a gift from my precious sister, brought back to me from her recent trip to London where she found it in a wonderful old antiques shop in Painswick in the Cotswolds...

These were my mamas... they are handpainted from Germany, and so very cherished by me...

My celery dish and individual salt dips... handpainted "Nippon"... so delicate and lovely!...

Is this just the sweetest rose ever... about the early 1950's salt shakers were used in place of salt dips... I think the little dishes were so much more romantic...

I love them because they take me back to a gentler time... I think I shall linger there a while longer... xoxo...


  1. SO many beautiful pieces! I really enjoyed the history of them and how they were were used. Enjoy your day! *HUGS*

  2. We have one more thing in common,a salt dip collection.I have only the glass.I don't think I've seen the china ones.Your Moms are so pretty.I've always collected them but when my husband retired and we down sized,I knew that was one collection that I could keep enjoying(HeHe,you know I mean buying)I have a couple of the princess ones I love in the last photo,they come in several colors.Enjoy the season of sparkles-Denise

  3. I frequently see salt dips at estate auctions. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of these little treasures.

  4. Oh Julie Marie,
    They're are all absoultely beautiful...Can you believe I had never heard of salt dips or salt cellars before? Thank you so much for sharing. Wishing you a wonderful day my sweet friend.

    Much love,

  5. Oh my goodness what a wealth of information.I never knew what these were. I have actually sen them and wasn't sure what they were.
    Such beautiful patterns and sizes you have.
    I know I would have so much fun looking at all your collections in your home.
    Thanks for always sharing with us.
    Hugs my friend

  6. Julie-Marie, I did not know the history of salts but it is fascinating. The tiny spoons are so pretty. Happy Weekend, Olive

  7. A beautiful collection ! My mum had some of the glass and china salt dips , she brought them over from England with her, my sister collects salt and pepper shakers ,as well as these and she now has my mums.
    Enjoy your vintage christmas decorating hope we can see some photos when your done ! Have a wonderful evening .

  8. Stunning collection! Beautiful photos. Years ago my beloved grandmother gave me a box full of lovely old salt cellars... all shapes and sizes. She has since passed away. You have inspired me to find the box and use them as part of my Thanksgiving tablescape. When I do.... I will post photos on my blog.
    Thanks Julie!

  9. Hi Julie,
    I just loved reading about your salt dips. They are just gorgeous. I love the sparkle of the glass and of course the little spoons I adore.
    Your mother's china salt dips are stunning. What a treasure to have and collect. The purple are my favorite too.
    Thank you for sharing all the info about the unique collectibles and also the link to your friends shoppe.

    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend. Blessings and love to you.
    XO Celestina Marie

  10. These are so lovely Julie Marie.

    I have my Grandmother's collection and then also some pearly shells with shell spoons. I love them. What a great tradition.

    Sending love,


  11. What an amazing collection! How sweet of your sis to bring one home from here trip. I am sure it will become one of your very favorites.
    Oh that little shop looks like such a fun place to shop Julie Marie. I will definitely have to find my way there.
    hugs from here...

  12. Well I learned a lot I did not know... and these are all so beautiful!! Have fun decorating Julie Marie.. I can't wait to see..

  13. What a gorgeous collection you have! Thank you for sharing your knowledge of antiques and collectibles with us. We love your passion for things from the past and how you cherish them.

    p.s. Happy decorating with Tessy. Hope to have a Christmas tour soon!

  14. not only do I enjoy your writing, I almost always learn something too! I have a small collection of glass (not a specific item, just things made of glass) and few things give as much pleasure as seeing them all freshly washed and glimmering in the bright sunlight! I love your glass salt cellar collection!