I have had this piece in my home for over a decade. But as a collector it’s time to make room. I adore this piece and I hope whoever it goes to loves it as much as I do.
HISTORY OF THE VICTORIAN PICKLE CASTOR
The dining tables of wealthy Victorians were a treasure trove of utensils and beautiful serving pieces in ornate patterns and styles. One of these common table accessories that is an example of the Victorians’ mastery of combining practical function with a beautiful form is the pickle castor.
Pickle castors are glass jars (in pattern glass and colored art glass) fitted in an elaborately designed silver-plated frame and matching silver-plated lid. Some castors also have matching silver-plated tongs or pickle fork. They were used to serve pickles and other pickled vegetables and fruits. It was considered the height of elegant dining to have a pickle castor on the table — or two, if a family was especially wealthy. Not only did pickle castors convey status, they also showed off the power to have servants, as household kitchen staff were responsible for preparing and preserving the jar’s contents then using it to display the fruits of their labor.
By 1890, pickle castors were a popular item, but about a decade later, they fell out of fashion and remained in quiet obsolescence until collectors took a renewed interest in Victorian art glass in the mid-1980s through the 1990s. During that period, many castors fetched $500 to $1,000 and as much as $1,500 or more for rare, double-jar examples.