Got the Shakes?

For the Birds

I bought these salt and pepper shakers in Toronto after seeing similar ones in someone's home. They were a very reasonable price, especially for the condition of the silver plating: not a spot of tarnish.

The Birds

This pair of birds caught my eye at the St Lawrence Antique Market in Toronto. We had celebrated my parent's 55th wedding anniversary the day before, and stopped by the market on our way home. They're not identical, like a similar pair I had seen the day before, but they're obviously a matched set: male and female.

Also, most of the ones I've seen online are identical to each other, so I think there's something a little special about this pair.

In order to fill the shakers, simply unscrew the heads of the birds. Or just turn their heads slightly to give them a different bird pose.

I'm not even sure exactly what type of birds they're supposed to be. They're not peacocks, and I don't think they're pheasants, simply because they're nicer looking than other pheasant objects I've seen.

Whatever they are, I'll have them hiding somewhere on the table at Christmas and other special occasions.

Viking Plate

On the underside of one are the words "Viking", "EP Lead" and "made in Canada".

"Viking Plate" is the registered trade mark for Lipman Levinter Industries Limited, operating in Toronto, Ontario from the 1930s to the 1950s. There's not much other information about the company online. The company specialized in electroplated items, especially silver plating over copper.

My shakers are silver-plated over lead. I don't know how safe it would be to actually put salt and pepper in them, but I'm not going to take the chance. It looks like there's no plating on the inside, so it would be salt and pepper touching lead.

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Some famous Romans and me

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