Antique Olier & Caron Master Salt Spoon Solid Silver circa 1910
In beautiful condition this little salt spoon could just as easily be used for your morning boiled eggs.
It was made in the very early part of the last century by Olier & Caron, one of the finest French silversmiths from Paris, France.
Such an elegant and beautifully made spoon that carries the Minerva mark with the figure '1' which denotes that it is silver of the highest purity being between 950 and 1000.
The lozenge with O.C., a star below and the rising sun above shows that it is indeed made by Olier & Caron.
Why would anyone make such a superb item just for salt? Well, salt used to be a bit more expensive than it is today. In fact the Roman legionnaires were often paid in salt as it was so expensive.
Because salt absorbs moisture from its surroundings, and had a tendency to clump together into one large lump. The head of the household usually presided over the distribution of salt at the dining table. This lump of salt was placed into a small dish, called by various names - open salt, salt cellar, Table salt.
Today we also refer to these as Master salts. It was then broken up with a knife handle or other utensil and placed into smaller, individual salt cellars, often matching the larger one in design. Since it was such a precious seasoning, only small portions were given to each person at the table. The food was either dipped into the small individual salt cellars or was scooped out with the small salt spoons and sprinkled over the food.
That is why this little spoon is referred to as a 'master salt spoon' because the master of the house had control over it.
It measures 10.5cms in length and weighs 8.5gms