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Monday, September 5, 2011

The Spice of Life

They say that variety is the spice of life, and “spices” come in many varieties and ways to store them.  This is a German spice box from the 1800’s. It is hand carved from oak. It can stand alone or be hung on the wall.

My favorite part is the porcelain knobs and name tags. The lady that I bought it from even gave me the translations for each spice.

The fact that it has survived with all the gorgeous detail intact is amazing.

This spice box is equally as old, but American made. It is tin with hand stenciling. I love its worn exterior. Would you believe this little footed stand is not attached, but a later find that fits just perfectly!?

Inside the six tin canisters are stenciled with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, allspice, and mace.

Can you guess what this is? No? It is a French nutmeg grinder, with tiny air holes to keep it fresh, carved from a coquilla nut.

People also use them as pomanders or thimble holders. I would love to have a silver one, but they are so-o-o expensive! They date back to the 1700’s.

This beautiful pepper mill was made in Italy. It looks gorgeous adorning any table or shelf.

Notice the ornately carved details and painting. Even the filigree handle is a work of art.

On top of that, this pepper mill has a secret! It plays music when you pick it up, and stops when you place it on the table. I wish I knew the name of the tune.

The earliest known spice is salt, and over the years, it has been refined and brought to the table in many ways. This open salt with serving spoon is made of silver and crystal. The wings open in back for easy access. Each place setting would have its own. Classy, huh?

So the next time you reach for the Morton salt box or McCormick pepper tin, know that people the world over are “spicing” it up!



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Grammy Goodwill said...

What a lovely piece. Thanks for the information as well.

Scrappy Pink Corner said...

You have a great collection. A little of everything. I would love to go to your yard sale if you ever have one.
Please email when you are ready to have it. I will be their the day before. LOL.
Thanks for sharing and all of your information on your pieces and inspiration you give me.

Sylvia said...

I agree, great collections...I have several swan salt cellars and love every single one.


Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Oh I love this post. I have been collecting salts for years! I am crazy for your swan one...your spice boxes are fabulous!!

Pondside said...

That nutmeg grinder is very sweet - all of this post is great. I have a black metal box just like the one you show, but I didn't know it was a spice box. I keep old letters in ti, as they're safe from mice and silverfish there.

Chubskulit Rose said...

Just beautiful!

Blue at my page, please come and see. Happy Labor Day!

At The Picket Fence said...

You gals just have some of the most incredible collections! I always love seeing your treasures! :-)

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Love your spice boxes, they are both fantastic. The pepper grinder is stunning. I've never seen anything like it. What a fabulous collection. Hugs, Marty

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Ooooo, I love those spice boxes, especially the tin one. Of course, I love everything else as well.

Kim, USA said...

Oh my these are perfect collection. Love it all.

Eyeball Plant

Shelia said...

If I want to drool and feel just a little bit jealous I know to pop over for a visit! ;) What a beautiful piece. I'm coveting, just a little bit, that darling blue and white canister. I've seen these before and always wanted some but so expensive!
I appreciate all your knowledge!
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)


OMG! I love it and along with such clear info on them, just great! What a wonderful collection and a different one too, I specially love the rack. Thanks for sharing. Hugs,

Tammy at Tammy Loves Dishes said...

Wow, Patti, you have quite a nice collection of spice-related items. I love the German spice box; that is totally fabulous! The pepper mill is so beautiful. And thanks for sharing the nutmeg container information; I've never seen anything like that before. It's so intricately carved and so gorgeous.

Marlis said...

Great pieces.. I am in love with the German piece.. I can remember my great aunt having one like it.. I love salt cellars with their tiny spoons, as well as silver salt and peppers too. Thank you very much for your well wishes for the parents.. They are both doing very well. xo marlis

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

What a collection! Love it. Thanks for sharing.
Hope to see you on my blog:)

Unknown said...

I love it! You have a great collection.Thanks for sharing.

GardenOfDaisies said...

Such a pretty spice cabinet! the Italian pepper mill is incredible!

sweet violets said...

The spice cabinet is wonderful and the tin with spices is equally wonderful!!! Love the nutmeg grater too....hugs...cleo

Our Hopeful Home said...

What a nice surprise to wake up and find you had joined in over at Club G.W. with Charm Bracelet Diva! Your collection is incredible and so unique. I've always wanted that first spice cabinet with the drawers, and I have a collection of salt cellars (thought I was the only one :D) The nutmeg grinder is new to me, great history and love it! Thanks again for sharing!


Angi Barrs said...

Love that gorgeous spice box. :)

Karen said...

What a beautiful collection! Each piece is so beautiful and I love the history that they have.

The Vintage Chateau said...

Oh my goodness, what a lovely collection!These pieces are truly works of art.Isn't it great to see how generations past brought such beauty to their lives by creating these containers to adorn their kitchens and tables?

refresh reStyle said...

Love this! It's like a history lesson with beautiful items!Thanks for sharing!

romance-of-roses said...

Ok, I was liking everything until I came to the pig box, then I fell in love. Wow, Patty that is fabulous. I know that tune, used to play it on the piano when I was a little girl but cannot think of the name, have been humming it all the way through. If I remember the name will get back to you. Hugs...Lu

Rebecca said...

Those are some really unusual pieces. I've never seen anything like some of them!

The French Hutch said...

Your spice box collection is fabulous, and all the information so unusual. I love the German box, the porcelain with the spice name in German is really special. Thanks for sharing your collection.

The French Hutch

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

You really have an amazing collection of interesting things. You must have been collecting for years and years! I also wanted to say that I hadn't noticed the photos of you 2 on your sidebar before now. What gorgeous girls you both are! x Sharon

Jordan@the2seasons said...

Wow these are great! I love having something that has lots of history.

Honey at 2805 said...

This is a terrific collection! I love the information and history you included!

I would be so pleased if you would bring one of your projects or posts to my Potpourri Friday Party this week. Link-up starts on Thursday afternoon. Without a doubt, your participation will help make the party better!

Cindy Adkins said...

WOW, pure gorgeousness here!!! I hope you're both having a beautiful day!!!

Ellen said...

I just love all your different spice pieces. Very nice pieces.

Mary said...

Oh Patti, I'm drooling over all your fabulous pieces, and so grateful for your very informative post! Thanks so much for sharing your talent at MM. :) xoxo

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

I love seeing all your treasures. My favorite is the spice box with the tins inside.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Thanks for linking up to Open House Party! Beautiful collection.

LV said...

That is a wonderful treasure, the spice box.

Kathy said...

What a collection, I love the pepper mill and tin spice box. You lucked up with the stand fitting. Thanks for sharing. Kathy

Amy said...

I love the german spice rack the best. Your items are all so lovely. Thanks for showing them!

Dreamgoddess said...

What a gorgeous collection! My favorite is the lovely pepper mill.

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Hi Patti, Nice to meet you! Love your blog header, and the pretty ladies in it! Wow, you have shown some really unique things. That spice box is my favorite. I thought the thimble holder was a finial for a bed or something. lol How interesting all of your things are. Thanks for sharing!


French-Kissed said...

Fascinating collection and wonderful that they are useful, too. I think the German spice rack is my favorite.


c. Joy said...

Love the musical pepper grinder - I would want to put pepper on dessert just to play with it. All of your collection is interesting, I lived in Germany for a few years and never saw a spice rack in such good shape. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela said...

Love the salt & Pepper shakers but the spice rack is my fave! Thanx for joining Treasure Hunt Thursday!

Unknown said...

I love this collection! I popped over from FMFPTYs' treasure Hunt Thurs. Great post, thanks for sharing. 8^)

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

What a great collection -- can't believe there is such a thing as a musical pepper grinder :) Those spice boxes are just beautiful!

Jacque said...

Good Morning! This is my first visit to your post. What first drew my attention was the Blue/white cookie jar in the background of the picture, as I have a few pieces of that collection.

I have enjoyed reading your post on the spice containers. I love it when someone shares information about interesting things!

Have a wonderful day!

Debbie said...

Fabulous! I love the German one, but I think the American box with the jars is my favorite. I actually guessed nutmeg grinder. Don't know why, but I did.

Susanne said...

My what treasures you've shown us today. Why can't we still make things like that wonderful spice cabinet!

Heather@Tatter and Fray said...

Your pepper mill is STUNNING!

Tami said...

Wow, what a wonderful collection...loving the spice tin.


Barb said...

The spice box is fabulous. Oh, the vignettes you can create with this.

I have the little swan salt container in my hutch. They were a gift from a dear friend many years ago.

Lovely post!


lvroftiques said...

Oh Patti they're wonderful!! And I'm sorry to say you can't invite me to your house because I'm afraid I might make off with your Italian spice grinder with the pig *winks* That piece is just SCREAMIN" my name!! And I of course would have to heed that scream! Lol!....You understand right?...Patti...Hello?....Oh OK I won't steal....ahem...borrow your spice grinder....You can trust me.....*Fingers crossed behind back* Fabulous collection my friend!! Vanna

Honey at 2805 said...

As I mentioned before, this is a terrific collection!

I'm so pleased you joined the Potpourri Friday linky party today. It is a better party with your participation!

Toni said...

What a unique collection. I can't decide if I like the salt swan or the musical pepper grider more. Fabuolus!

Sarah said...

Terrific post! I so enjoyed seeing your collection of various spice containers. You have some wonderful pieces and great variety. ~ Sarah

The Tablescaper said...

What an amazing collection! Each item is so unique. So glad you made this post a part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Caroline said...

All so lovely! I love the seperate spice canisters. So unique! That pepper grinder is unique, too. You have some wonderful finds!

aprons and old lace

very merry vintage style said...

Great finds.. these are OLD (thus fabulous!)! Thanks so much for linking to Share the Love Wednesday!

romance-of-roses said...

Ok, girls the name just of that tune just popped into my head. It's a very popular Italian song by the name of Santa Lucia. I knew I would remember it eventually, like I said before was one that I played on the piano as a little girl. Hugs...Lu

Alycia Nichols said...

You have some really cool pieces, Patti! I especially love the French nutmeg grinder. I've never seen or heard of one. I just toss mine in my coffee grinder since I don't really use it for coffee beans. I'm sure yours would do a much better job! I love salt cellars, too! I love to see different ones. Very cool treasures!!!

At The Picket Fence said...

Hey ladies! Just coming back over to say thanks for linking up Patti's beautiful collection to our Inspiration Friday Party this week! :-)

Unknown said...

LOVE the spice side. :) That blue and white cookie jar is what I love the most though!

I'm having a little give away! Come by and say Hi!


Doni said...

What sweet spice containers! I've never seen those styles before either, and the one married on the little stand looks PERFECT!!!
Thanks so much for joining me for my Pearls and Lace party!! It's always so nice to have you!

rosenresli said...


I´m from germany. Your spices are very pretty, especially the first one. I love old spice boxes and canisters and have a collection from germany and france which I all found on flea markets. Last sunday I found a same as yours on the first pic which french spice names. I will show it in my post tomorrow.

Have a nice weekend,

Diann said...

OMG Girls! These are just the most gorgeous spice containers EVER! I would love any one of them. Well, really I would love ALL of them! And they are all in such beautiful conditions! thank you for sharing these beauties with us on TTF. Have a fun weekend!

The Charm of Home said...

Wow! What unique and amazing spice container collection you have. Really beautiful pieces. I love that pepper mill. Thank you for linking it up to Home Sweet Home!

Red Rose Alley said...

Thank you for visiting us at Red Rose Alley. I love all the old treasures that are shown on this post. The French nutmet grinder is beautiful. We would love it if you could follow us, and I would certainly come back and follow you as well. Your blog is so pretty, and I see that family means so much to you, as it does to me. Hope to hear from you, and have a sweet day.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh, I forgot to mention....your HEADER is wonderful!!
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

rosenresli said...

Much thanks for visiting my little blog.
I don´t know how old my french spice box is but I think something younger than yours. The seller wanted 60 Euro and gave it to me for 50 Euro - a very good price. Now it hangs in my kitchen. I love old kitchenalia very much.

I live in germany but very near to the alsace region in france and love it to make trips to the beautiful towns and villages there.

You can find some of my trips under the labels "france" and flea market" in my little blog. I hope you enjoy it.

A dream of me would be a longer visit in the USA because I find it so interesting. But it is a dream ...

Have a nice sunday,

Brandi said...

You have a beautiful collection. thank you for sharing your pieces!

Karin Şen Cankan said...

Your collection is amazing, just loved it.

Thank you for sharing

Karin Şen Cankan

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Patti... have some really awesome "spice" items, my friend! The German spice cabinet is beautiful and I agree...I love that the knobs and name tags are made of porcelain! Love the old tin spice box too! I just love any kind of olden box! Hehe! Ohhh my goodness...I have never seen nor heard of a pepper grinder that played music! Of course, I had to play your video so that I could hear it. That's just amazing!

Well dear lady, thank you so much for joining in with the Sunday Favorites party this week! I really enjoyed this's always fun to see and learn about antiques!

Have a wonderful week, Patti!
Chari @Happy To Design

At The Picket Fence said...

They are all so lovely! I LOVE the German spice box. What special treasures. Thank you for sharing with us at Inspiration Friday. Love ya gals!


Debra@CommonGround said...

That spice cabinet is a real treasure, such a great find. Love it that she translated the drawers for you! thanks so much for linking up with VIF! xoxo

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

Such treasures, Patti! The wooden spice box is my favorite, but they are all so lovely. And the peppermill is incredible.

Thank you for linking to Time Travel Thursday each week. I love visiting and getting a glimpse of your vintage treasures. ;)

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Oh my gosh, I love the German Spice Box. Both sets of my grandparents came over here from Germany and I would love it!! You are so lucky to have such treasures!! I would love for you to link up Thursday (actually it starts tonight) to It’s a Party!

d e l i g h t said...

Great pieces and such wonderful information. I really enjoyed the post!! Thank you for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours. Lots of great ideas and information.

Barbe @ Beez Rental Designs said...

How old is your blue/white cookie canister? I have a set of seasoning jars that look just like it. : )


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