At AC Silver we are able to offer our customers an array of mustard pots, with wonderful examples which can still be part of a table service in any home and used for any condiment.
Our fine selection of silver mustard pots includes examples of Victorian and Georgian pieces, in varying styles.
Andrew Campbell selects only the finest antique and vintage silver mustard pots to add to the AC Silver inventory.
All of the silver mustard pots at AC Silver come with free and insured worldwide shipping and a 14-day return policy.
A mustard pot is traditionally a small container used to hold and server mustard; providing a decorative element to a dining table. Mustard pots evolved from the use of powdered mustard, which was then mixed with water or vinegar to create a liquid paste, similar to the consistency of mustard today.
The mustard is served via a mustard spoon which is accommodated inside the vessel, with the handle terminal extending through an indent in the cover. Some mustard pots retain the original mustard spoon, whereas others are supplied with a spoon of a similar era or associated design, relevant to the style of the pot.
Mustard pots commonly contain a glass liner, this would be where the mustard was placed and made the cleaning of the mustard pot much easier. The colour of glass is dictated by both availability and design, with many pieces containing coloured glass displayed behind elaborate pierced decoration. It is common for antique silver mustard pots to feature the pierced body design with a glass liner which is typically blue*, and before this style became popular most mustard pots were gilded inside. This was to prevent corrosion of the metal due to the mustard itself comprising of acidic ingredients.
* Many silverware items were lined with blue liners it was believed the blue glass enhanced the flavour, stopped the silver from tarnishing in addition to adding a nice aesthetic look and contrasting the silver.
Originally mustard was used on the table in its dry state and was served in casters, and only due to its popularity did it become widely available in its more recognisable wet form.
The change from the dry to wet mustard took place in the 18th century. As the condiment was expensive and imported it required a small condiment container, which would be incorporated into formal dining settings; within Europe there was a certain need for silver examples due to elaborate meals and table arrangements being highly valued. The silver mustard pot therefore become a symbol of wealth and sophistication, with the practical table decorations being ornamented with engraving and embossed decoration, reflecting the current periods style.
The Victorian era saw an increase in the popularity of silverware and dining accessories, and this included the mustard pot. Opposed to being a single item they would be displayed within more extensive cruet and condiment sets, with matching salt and pepper pots.. This addition to the table was both practical and also showcased the household’s social status; a refining detail which was considered a standard in certain situations.
By the late 19th and 20th centuries mustard became more affordable and the use of the silver mustard pot declined in popularity. They have however maintained their use as decorative items on a table, with the enjoyment for collectors to locate items of significance, high craftsmanship and also set styles.
Some popular styles of silver mustard pots include:
The Drum Mustard Pot
This was the most popular type of mustard pot. Resembling the musical instrument, the pot commonly has a cylindrical or barrel-shaped body. The cover of the drum pot was typically flat, with later variations bearing a subtle dome.
The Plain Mustard Pot
The early 19th century brought with it plain oblong mustard pots. Their domed lids were often accompanied with a ball shaped finial and also saw a change in handle design: from scroll to bracket handle.
The Vase Mustard Pot
In the 1780’s the vase shaped mustard pot became a popular choice. These mustard pots were often lined with blue glass liners which was displayed through pierced decoration.
The Bucket-Shaped Mustard Pot
These pots resemble a small pail (or bucket) and often bear a swing handle crossing over the top of the cover, opposed to being perpendicular to the body.
When it comes to collecting silver mustard pots, it is a popular area for silver collectors and enthusiasts. A combination of their age and style can vary a lot in their worth and desirability.
It is often difficult to find pieces crafted prior to the seventeenth century. Octagonal mustards can also command a higher premium along with many novelty mustard pots also being very popular with collectors.