Silver Salt & Pepper Shakers
A pair of handmade hallmarked sterling silver salt & pepper shakers. Part of the matching 'Appetite' collection which is designed for modern living by Master Silversmith John Campbell.
Both shakers carry a lifetime guarantee. The pepper shaker has a different pattern of holes on top to distinguish it from its companion, the salt shaker. In addition, the silver salt shaker is gold plated inside to deter corrosion from the salt.
It must be 20 years or more now since I designed the 'Appetite' collection and these particular shakers are quite complicated to make but the satisfaction I get from receiving customers comments and seeing them come together in my Brentwood workshop makes it all worth the time and effort. Each batch always causes comment in the workshop as the time comes for them to be finally polished and packed into presentation boxes.
Using these luxury silver salt and pepper shakers will add further pleasure to the dining experience.
When people ask me "Why buy silver"? I can always answer so easily, "I believe silver enhances any table, no matter how simple or how elaborate". Of course, this depends on the occasion or your own tastes. It can be a pleasure to look at and enjoy in solitude or when entertaining friends and family. For that extra special occasion when a table set with select pieces of silver can really have that 'wow' factor your guests will ask "Where did you get that from?" Silver on the table has become a status symbol of great subtlety.
Whatever the occasion, silver is the ideal present. For a couple starting their own home, to a silver wedding present or even a golden wedding present as the silver shakers can be fully gold-plated. Both are suitable for engraving with a message, date, or crest to personalize the gift.
For those interested in how we make this product, John explains the manufacturing process. Each piece is made from 3 components, (4 if you count the skill of the craftsman); a silver body, a Perspex base and a filler plug. The bodies are made by the metal 'spinning' method. It is easier to see the process than to try and explain, however, it is sometimes likened to throwing clay onto a potter's wheel but horizontally, not vertically. It is an ancient method of producing round hollow objects from sheet material using a metal 'spinning' lathe. This looks similar to a heavy duty, wood-turning lathe. Its use is still practical today for small-to-medium production runs which are typical of the silversmith. Kitchen utensils and, before plastic, photographic accessories were often made this way. A solid male former/model known as a 'chuck' is made on the lathe. This can be removed and used again at a later date. A disc of metal -in this case silver- is clamped to the chuck with the back centre and while the assembly is spinning, it is coaxed over the chuck using a spinning tool. This tool is often made by the craftsman himself during his apprenticeship. It is a polished, hardened, steel burnisher with a rounded pointed side and a flat side. Using left and right strokes, a wooden stick (known as a back stick) with the help of lubricant is forced over the chuck. Articles with a greater depth-to-diameter ratio will need several 'anneals' (that is to make red hot) in order to soften the metal before the article reaches completion. The finished article is then trimmed, whilst rotating, with a sharp, hand-held turning tool. The bodies are then drilled on top with a single hole in the case of the salt and a collection of holes for the pepper.
The bases for these shakers are hand turned from 1" thick perspex sheet. First a round blank is band-sawn from the sheet and it is turned to fit the body with a recess and a hole for filling.
The filling bung comes from vulcanized rubber and made by the moulding process.
At this stage in the making the item is punched with the maker's mark, JAC in a triangle, which are the full initials of John Campbell. It then goes to the London Assay Office for testing of each and every component. Only if all the components prove to be better than 92.5% pure silver, are the remaining hallmarks punched into the surface. The English hallmarking system is one of the oldest and most secure forms of consumer protection and dates back to the 1400s.
Upon return from hallmarking, it is passed to the polishing shop where Colin and his team, using 4 different grades of compound, polish each one to the brightness associated with silver. Ultrasonic cleaning takes place, followed by the salt body being gold plated inside to protect from corrosion. They are then rinsed and inspected. The bases are pushed into the bodies and lapped in place, the filling bungs placed in and finally the shaker is packed into the distinctive presentation boxes.
In the unlikely event of damage, we provide a full repair service. You can be assured that all JA Campbell products are made up to a standard, not down to a price. Nothing leaves the Brentwood workshop until Master Silversmith John Campbell is completely satisfied.