I'm obsessed with vintage glass kitchen shakers. I know, it's a slightly odd obsession - I can't help it! I actually sold a set of Tipp Black Leaf Flower spice shakers out of my store yesterday, see the photo above. I mean really, how could you not love them?
Several companies made glass shaker sets in the 30's, 40's, and 50's, there is no way I could cover them in one post. Wait, do I smell a series? I think I do!
Today I will just cover those made by the Tipp Novelty Company, Tipp City, Ohio. (Yep, Ohio comes through again! I love living here, my little state had so many great glass and pottery companies back in the day.)
From the way I understand it, Tipp didn't really produce their own shakers, they just decorated shakers made by other companies, especially McKee Glass Company. Here is what my well-worn book Florence's Glass Kitchen Shakers 1930-1950s: Identification & Value Guide says about them:
"The shakers shown in the catalogs are being listed as Tipp City shakers, although it is more likely only the decorations are Tipp. Tipp shakers may be embossed 'Tipp U.S.A.' or 'Made in U.S.A.' on the bottom, or, more likely, are unmarked altogether. The unmarked shakers generate the reasonable assumption that someone else made these unmarked versions for Tipp to decorate."
Confusing, I know. The only really important thing to know is that searching the word Tipp City on eBay is going to bring up a big variety of amazing retro designs, on milk glass shakers as well as grease jars. The most coveted are complete spice sets (known officially as Rangettes) on a stand, like this: (Click the photos to visit the actual listings!)
Also highly desirable are complete range sets that include salt, pepper, sugar, and flour shakers, or better yet the shakers plus the matching grease jar, like this:
There is no way I could show you all the different designs that are out there, the best way to see them is by getting the Florences' book that I mentioned above.
If you do decide that you want to buy, be ready to plunk down a decent chunk of money, especially for complete sets. It is possible though to build sets piece by piece, which will take some time, but might save you some money when it is all said and done!
Here's a tip (no pun intended!) - sometimes people list Tipp shakers on eBay and have no idea they are Tipp shakers. So doing a search for milk glass shaker, white glass shaker, or the design you are looking for, say, cherries shaker or flowers shaker, will bring them up. Sometimes these listings will go for significantly less than those that identify the shakers as Tipp simply because they are missing the Tipp keyword!