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“To avoid quarrels, spilled salt is removed with a damp cloth, which is then thoroughly rinsed or thrown away,” porcelain collector Lyudmila Karpinskaya-Romanyuk

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A good salt and pepper shaker on the table always attracts attention. They can be either included in the service set or as separate stops. People often give such a set to each other – and then it reminds them of this incident for years on end.

Each serving item has its own history and purpose, and each has its own etiquette rules for using it. It is important to know them in order to feel confident and comfortable at the table.

“FACTS” continues a series of interviews with experts, collectors, and porcelain makers about Ukrainian porcelain, which is extremely important in the rich artistic heritage of Ukraine. The products of talented domestic craftsmen delight with their beauty and sophistication. Many of these works are known not only in Ukraine, but also abroad. The best works decorate museum and private collections. The world of porcelain is incredibly interesting and fascinating.

In an interview with FACTS collector and researcher of the history of Russian porcelain, author of books Lyudmila Karpinskaya-Romanyuk spoke about the most interesting sets for domestically produced spices, about signs of salt and pepper and the rules of etiquette for spices.

“There are more holes in a salt shaker than in a pepper shaker.”

— In his famous painting “The Last Supper,” Leonardo da Vinci painted Judas Iscariot’s overturned salt shaker, – Lyudmila Karpinskaya-Romanyuk reports. – Even then this was interpreted as a bad sign. There are many signs associated with salt even now. Salt crystals are believed to absorb energy. Apparently, this is where the belief arose that by borrowing salt, a person gives part of his energy and vitality to another person. According to signs, under no circumstances pass salt from hand to hand – it is better to put it on the table, from where it will be taken.

— There is another well-known sign: to sprinkle salt before misunderstandings and quarrels between loved ones. And what to do if this happens? How to avoid trouble?

— To avoid a quarrel, spilled salt is removed with a damp cloth, which is then thoroughly rinsed or thrown away. But breaking a salt shaker in a dream foreshadows a speedy reconciliation with a loved one.


– Interesting. What signs exist about pepper?

— Ground pepper scattered on the table promises financial difficulties. But on the floor there are hassles with documents (for example, when buying or selling real estate). Scattered red pepper means conflict with a loved one. White pepper in such a situation warns of the insincerity of the guests’ intentions. And scattered peppercorns can portend financial losses. Believe it or not. The fact is that salt and spices have always been valued in all countries at all times, so it was undesirable to scatter them.


O. Cherednik. Salt shaker “Cossack”. Polonsky artistic ceramics factory. 1985

— What types of salt shakers are there?


— Until the mid-19th century, salt shakers were boxes for storing salt and spices that did not contain holes in the lids. These were small shaped containers. There are different types of salt shakers. The most common are open and closed with small holes through which you can season with salt. The number and size of these holes can vary, depending mainly on the manufacturer. Fill the salt shaker with salt after removing the plug from the back side. The pepper shaker was also created in the same style as the salt shaker.

Set for spices “Sailboat”. Polonsky artistic ceramics factory. 1960s

– How to distinguish a salt shaker from a pepper shaker?

– If they are from the same set, then by the number of holes there are more of them in the salt shakers.

— Which Ukrainian-made spice sets, in your opinion, are the most beautiful?

— I like the “Sailboat” set, which includes containers for salt and pepper. The set was complemented by a glass for a toothpick and a stand for all items. Very good sets for spices and gravy boats from services.

Salt and mustard shakers – part of the table service of M. and V. Tregubov “Korosten 75”

An ordinary breakfast will be turned into a small celebration by items from the “Circus” breakfast set for 6 people. Individual clown figures are a salt shaker, a pepper shaker, a plow bowl, a mustard pot with a lid… All of this was produced by the Baraniv Porcelain Factory in the early 1950s. When using white plates when serving, the set will make your table original.

S. Orlov. Mustard pot, poached pot and salt shaker from the “Circus” breakfast table set. Baranivsky porcelain factory. Early 1950s

The original salt and pepper shaker was created by Tamara Kryzhanovskaya. The plot is as follows: a friendly, cheerful cook invites gourmets to try the dish he has prepared.

T. Kryzhanovskaya. Salt shaker “Kukharchuk” and pepper shaker “Perchik”. Baranivsky porcelain factory. 1956

And here are the salt shakers “Baba Paraska and Baba Palazhka” and “Grandfather” from the creative heritage of the Budyansky artist Nikolai Nikolaev.

M. Nikolaev. Salt shakers “Baba Paraska and Baba Palazhka”. Budyansky faience factory. 1961
M. Nikolaev. Salt shaker “Grandfather”. Budyansky faience factory. 1970s

Graduates of ceramic educational institutions who came to the Budyansky plant in the 1950s could not imagine their lives without earthenware. They were able to show the attractive properties of a ceramic material similar to porcelain, coated with a thin glassy film – glazed, to reveal its artistic expressiveness, decorativeness and modernity.

M. Nikolaev, Yu. Pimankin. Souvenir salt shaker – cradle. Budyansky faience factory. 1962.

“You should not take salt from an open salt shaker with your fingers.”

— In general, a housewife must have at least a minimum set of different seasonings in her arsenal. – Lyudmila Karpinskaya-Romanyuk continues the story. – For their convenient storage, you cannot do without special small jars, containers, and gravy boats. The best choice would be small jars with lids. Typically, such items are equipped with small holes in the top, which simplifies their use and allows you to dose the addition of seasonings to the dish.

T. Shulyak. Set of jars for spices. Polonsky artistic ceramics factory. 1980

The sets shown in the photo are rare. There are collectors who collect exclusively salt and pepper shakers.

T. Shulyak. Salt shaker “Camel”. Polonsky artistic ceramics factory. 1986

— What etiquette rules are important to know regarding the use of salt and pepper shakers?

– When you are sitting at a table and someone asks you to pass the salt, always pass it along with the pepper if they are on the same stand. It is not customary to dip your food on a fork into the salt shaker, and you also cannot take salt from an open salt shaker with your fingers. Sometimes a miniature spoon (spatula) is added to the salt shaker, which can be used. If there is no such spoon, use a clean knife. Food is not sprinkled with salt. It is usually placed in the center of the plate and the dish is salted by touching the salt with a piece of food on the fork. Knowing these etiquette rules is very important. Following them will help everyone around the table feel comfortable.

Lyudmila Karpinskaya-Romanyuk: “There are collectors who collect exclusively salt and pepper shakers”

Earlier, in an interview with FACTS, collector and researcher of domestic porcelain Lyudmila Karpinskaya-Romanyuk spoke about the best soup vases of domestic production.

Photo from the album of Lyudmila Karpinskaya-Romanyuk

In the photo in the title: Shulyak. Set for spices “Cockerel”. Polonsky ZHK.1970



Source: Fakty

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