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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Be Still - Week 34


I've been researching salt cellars. Why? Because our Be Still exercise this week was to include a spoon. Trying to think of something unusual, I remembered that my sister collects salt cellars and many of them have tiny spoons, less than 2" long. Salt cellars have been know by several names: open salt, salt dip, standing salt, master salt, and salt dish.


The use of salt cellars is documented as early as classical Rome. The earliest salt cellars were large ceremonial pieces used on the tables of the aristocracy. At formal dinners, the piece was passed around.



Salt was expensive and considered a luxury. It also defined the seating arrangements at the table. People of importance sat at the high table "above the salt" and lesser rank individuals sat at tables "below the salt."


The smaller, individual salt cellars appeared in the early seventeen century when place settings began to include plates, utensils, and salt in small containers. After the introduction of free-flowing salt in 1911, salt cellars became almost entirely replaced by salt shakers.


Speaking of salt, what about that famous round salt box? One of the most successful and lasting advertising campaigns was created in 1911 when Joy Morton (secretary of the newly formed Morton Salt Company) chose the first Umbrella Girl and the slogan that we all recognize, "When It Rains It Pours."®  Mr. Morton explained his choice: "Here was the whole story  in a picture - the message that the salt would run in damp weather was made beautifully evident." The little Umbrella Girl just had her 100th anniversary last year. She's changed a little over the years. I still favor the original.

Above information and image found at http://www.mortonsalt.com/our-history/history-of-the-morton-salt-girl

A special thank you to my sister, Judith, for allowing me to borrow a couple of her beautiful salt cellars and a lovely porcelain spoon.


beyondlayers

18 comments:

  1. How interesting! I have never heard of salt cellars before. I have probably seen these little crystal bowls before and never knew what they were. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I have some salt sellers that belonged to our grandmothers. However, I didn't know the history. I love the photo with the cellar, the box of salt, and the shakers. You're learning more than photography in this series!

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  3. A beautiful salt cellar and spoon! Love all your shots of them and the additional information about salt. We do take it for granted, don't we?

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  4. How very interesting. Something learnt today. All of the photos are so lovely.

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  5. I always learn a lot when I come here, love the pearl handle and so many different selections to look at. I have a little round one with a small spoon and it has a cap which is good to keep the moisture out. Like I have to worry about that here in the desert.

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  6. I really love the image with the salt cellar, salt shaker and the Morton salt box. I enjoyed reading the info on salt history too. Thanks.

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  7. It seems like what goes around comes around....now that more people are using coarse kosher salt and other flaky salts we are going back to using salt cellars...At least I am. Love these beautiful photos!

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  8. What a wonderful post! I enjoyed learning more about salt. One fact I learned in Italy was that people were paid in salt in ancient Rome, and that's where we get our word salary, which comes from the Latin word for salt, sal. Your images of the salt cellars and spoons are lovely, Cathy. I noticed that the Morton salt girl of 1933 looked a lot like Shirley Temple. :)

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  9. What pretty salt cellars and tiny spoon. I loved reading all about salt and its history. I know that in the olden days, people used to exchange wares rather than money. I thought that was a marvellous and intelligent idea! My favourite Morton salt girl is 1941. She looks so full of fun and happy! I love the embroidered cloths you've used for your photography. Well done for finding original things to use for your Be Still photography!

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  10. such interesting facts, i had no idea!! i have a "thing" for tiny spoons, it's a little odd but i just can't resist them!!!!

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  11. Wow that was fun and interesting. I've never heard of a "salt cellar" before. As for the Morton Salt girl, I like the 1956 version, that's the year I was born and she looks so "perky."

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  12. These are sweet! I used to have a couple of tiny silver salt spoons. I don't know what ever happened to them. They disappeared in a move somewhere along the line.

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  13. I used to collect salt dips - they are so beautiful in their small intricacies. Lovely images of these tiny beauties.

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  14. My mother in law gave me a collection of salt cellars that had belonged to her mother. I really treasure them but now thanks to you I know the history. Your shots are beautiful and you always find such interesting things to tell and show us....

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  15. Gosh these are beautiful and thank you for the history lesson as well. Thankfully the Morton girl hasn't changed too much over the years.

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  16. Thanks for the info about salt cellars I didn't know anything about them. Have you tried pink Himalayan salt it's so pretty ?

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  17. Gosh I remember my two great aunts having a salt cellar and little spoon just like that - it was only brought out when visitors came to tea though! Delightful photos!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!