ANTIQUE SILVER PEPPER GRINDERS
Antique Silver pepper grinders Description:
A table accessory piece used to grind peppercorns.
Antique Silver pepper grinders History:
The very first pepper grinders were made in the 1870s but these are very rare now. Anything before 1900 in good condition is quite rare. The vast majority are from the 20th century and they are still being made today in large numbers.
Antique Silver pepper grinders Design:
The silver versions varied from the traditional baluster styles through to the more Art Deco straight-sided examples. The bodies were also made in different materials including crystal (with silver tops and bases), ebony, and ivory (both with silver tops and silver bands). Internally they all had similar steel grinders, the better quality ones having Peugeot mechanisms. The basic design consisted of a revolving top that could be removed to add peppercorns, and through which a square cross-section steel rod was connected to a central lower grinder, which could in turn be rotated within a housing that also had grinding teeth. The peppercorns were held in the main body above the lower grinding area. The whole mechanism could be loosened or tightened, to provide coarser or finer pepper grains, by adjusting the top finial
Antique Silver pepper grinders Collectors Note:
Early grinders from the Victorian period are often in bad condition with rusted grinder mechanisms. Crystal, wooden or ivory versions are often cracked or broken. Always remove the top finial and lid to look inside. Check to make sure that the mechanism still works properly. There should be a good clear hallmark on all the removable silver pieces including finial, revolving top, and bottom. Unusual examples including Art Deco versions command the highest prices.