Modern Salt Cellars

Yesterday we looked at the salt cellars that appeared on Medieval and Renaissance tables. While ornate, bejeweled metalwork is out of style for storing salt these days, there are plenty of appealing modern options that go beyond the simple shaker. Many of these can go from the kitchen workstation straight to the table, or can be a permanent functional centerpiece. Which do you prefer, the shaker or the cellar?

Medieval and Renaissance salt cellars could be found in various forms, including ships, goblets, and small covered jars with pointed lids. Today, there are still no rules for what a salt cellar should look like. Really any shallow dish will do, whether it's covered or not, though some of the following examples promise to keep moisture out, preserving the freshness of gourmet salts for longer.


  • Williams-Sonoma's Olive wood salt keeper is a gorgeous receptacle for kitchen or table while keeping salt dry, $49.
  • A colorful "l'Epice" jar ($4) from Anthropologie would make a charming salt cellar, and you could get a different color for pepper or other spices.
  • The Studio salt and pepper cellars from Pottery Barn are only $10, and would make a lovely rustic addition to a tabletop.
  • Crate and Barrel's mini-salt pig ($4.95) is a sweet and simple option that could go from stovetop to tabletop.
  • This sweet little silver-plated owl salt cellar has a removable plastic liner inside for easy filling and washing, $20 from VintageJewelsAndMore on Etsy.
  • This vintage glass apothecary jar from 2BoredBunnies on Etsy ($20) would make a stunning salt cellar, and bears the most resemblance to the Medieval versions of any of these options.
  • These classic cut glass salt cellars on silver trays would glam up a traditional table setting. $18 from SimplyBorrowed on Etsy.
  • Atticus "Placid" salt and pepper cellars in textured stainless steel from Bloomingdale's. $45 (but they look more expensive) and dishwasher safe.
  • The online store The Meadow has several lovely salt cellars in a range of prices, including this simple stainless steel spice jar for $19.95.
  • If you love the olive wood salt cellar in the first image but don't love the price, or if you prefer a blond wood, try this two-toned bamboo salt cellar from Sur La Table for only $14.95.

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