Material and Medium: Sterling silver
Dimensions: Overall: 30 x 82 x 65mm (1 3/16 x 3 1/4 x 2 9/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: L1912.12
This Georgian trencher salt is made of Sterling Silver in a simple rectangular cut-cornered design. This style became popular from the early eighteenth century.
Trencher salts are containers used to keep salt in on the dining table. They were in use from the late-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century. Prior to the introduction of these containers, salt was usually served in one larger container. The positioning of this container had social significance. Honoured guests and those of higher social standing were positioned "above the salt" whereas those of a lower status and the servants were seated "below the salt". Towards the end of the seventeenth-century however it became more common to have several smaller vessels to contain the salt on a dining table.
Salt was produced in Britain during this period, primarily around North Cheshire and Middlewich where large quantities of rock salt were discovered in the seventeenth century.
Salt would have been served with the end of a knife or the fingers rather than a spoon and it was usual to place the salt on the edge of the plate for dipping rather than to sprinkle it over the food.