At AC Silver we have a well curated range of condiment and cruet sets to suit any style of home decor or personal taste. From Georgian sets to modern Art Deco collections, we are pleased to be able to offer our customers a fine array of tableware and dinnerware.
Condiment sets and cruet sets remain immensely popular, and are very practical pieces of antique silverware, whether purchased for everyday use or reserved for special occasions, these sets add an air of sophistication to any dinner table.
Andrew Campbell, using his 40 years’ experience within the antique industry, handpicks all antique silver condiment & cruet sets from sale.
All of the silver cruet sets at AC Silver come with free and insured worldwide shipping and a 14 day return policy.
A cruet is a small container or indeed a set of containers for oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, or mustard which can be used at meal times.
It has been suggested that one of the first uses of a cruet was ecclesiastical. In fact, there is an example in the bible of a 'cruse of oil' (I Kings 17:16). It would seem that in this case the cruet was a jug that held liquid within it.
It was thought that the earliest known cruet set was crafted by Anthony Nelme in 1715 for the Earl of Warwick. Since, it has emerged that there were actually some silver cruets set from around 1707. However, it is the Earl's that is most famous. The cruet set itself consisted of five casters that were mounted on a frame. This set up became so popular that this type of set was termed the 'Warwick Cruet'.
It was in the 18th Century when condiment sets just seemed to increase in size. Cut glass and silver were the materials of choice for condiment sets. Different vessels were added around this time, such as: sugar casters, peppers, salts, stoppered bottles holding vinegar, while mustard was kept in a lidded pot.
The definitions of condiment and cruet sets appear to vary. Not just over time and use, but also between countries.
Derivation – From Latin condimentum ‘seasoning’, from condire, ‘to pickle, preserve’
Definition – A substance, such as a relish, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard or spice, used to flavour or complement food.
Condiments are food substances used to heighten the natural flavour of foods, to stimulate the appetite, to aid digestion, or preserve certain foods.
There appears to be some discussion (especially between American English speakers and British English speakers) as to whether salt and pepper are truly ‘condiments’. But that, I believe, is a discussion for another day.
Derivation – from Anglo-Norman French, diminutive of Old French crue ‘pot’, and/or from Old Saxon kruka; related to ‘crock’
Definition – a small container or set of containers for salt, pepper, oil, or vinegar for use at a dining table. OR (in church use) a small container for the wine or water to be used in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Also, there are some country specific definitions:
British: A cruet is a small container, or set of containers, for salt, pepper, or mustard which is used at meals.
American: A cruet is a small glass bottle that contains oil or vinegar and is used at the table at meals.
French: Cruet – petit flacon (small bottle), and Cruet Set – service á condiments (condiment set).