This set of Japanese .950 silver (marked, see photo) salt & pepper shakers are in the form of small melons with naturalistic leaf legs and applied chrysanthemum flowers. These are not your usual post WWII salt & pepper figural shakers. I have handled several of them in the past and although quite charming in design and .950 silver content this pair is in a different class altogether. According to my consignor they date from about 1890. The shakers measure 1 1/2" tall by 1 7/8" in diameter. These are the types of objects which took Europe and America by storm in terms of design in the late 1800's when Japanese metalwork and other art and craft forms were seen after the "opening of Japan". When Europeans and Americans saw such things they influenced in their work, subsequently referred to as "Japonesque" in style. Theses shakers look more like Art Nouveau pieces which were highly influenced by Japonism in its use of natural forms and sinuous curving lines. They have little flower form "lids" on the underside which are threaded so that when you fill the shaker you can screw down the "lid" and keep the contents in. One of the flowers bears the mark "Sterling 950" which is a commonly used Japanese silver content, higher than the 925 Sterling standard of the west. Also note that each shaker has a center shaker plate and each one has a different number and size of shaker holes to dispense salt or pepper with one having just 5 holes and the other 9. The attention to detail as well as the elegant design make these wonderfully collectible for either silver or salt & pepper shaker collectors. They are in very good, used condition and ready to add to someone's collection.
Quality jewelry, antiques, fine art and decorative objects, fairly priced.
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