Antique quadruple silverplate DINNER CRUET CASTOR SET by Meriden Silver Plate Co. with antique glass cruet bottles. Obviously very well loved and used frequently.
This antique quadruple silverplate cruet caster / castor does show its age. There is considerable silverplate loss on the stand and on the revolving cruet tray. The revolving tray is also quite rough as vinegar spills have eaten into the finish on one side of the top and there are a few nicks and scratches along the apron. The revolving cruet tray is also slightly out of round. The attached handle is also nearly completely without silverplate, though a small amount remains near the revolving cruet tray.
Three of the antique glass cruet bottles are of one pattern (shields) , the other two are thumb-dot style. The glass cruet with the flip-open lid (shield design) is a mustard pot and has considerable silverplate wear on the lid and a moderate amount of corrosion to the inside of the cap. It measures 5.5" tall and has no other damage to note. The taller antique glass cruet with the screw-on top has two chips along the base, multiple chips along the inside edge (though this does not affect usability) and it "leans" to one side, the screw-on top is without its original quadruple silverplate finish and shows moderate corrosion on the inside of the cap and it measures 6.5" tall. The final antique glass cruet of this shield pattern set has a tiny rough spot under the lip and is missing the antique glass stopper and measures 6.5" tall.
For the remaining two antique glass (thumb-dot pattern) cruets, one is in excellent condition though it is missing its antique glass stopper and it measures 6.5" tall, the other antique glass cruet is missing its silverplated "sprinkler" top but is in otherwise excellent condition and is 6.25" tall.
One of the most popular items made in silverplate, "dinner castors" as they were identified in old catalogs of silver manufacturers, most surely were derived from the cruet frames made for the reception of glass cruets for holding oil and vinegar and other condiments for use at the table. These date from the beginning of the eighteenth century in English silver.
Cruet frames were made in this country from about 1750 onward. They were also made in England in "Old Sheffield Plate". In the 1830's the first castor frames were produced by Britannia makers but it was not until around the 1840's that they became an important article in the Britannia trade.
Early castors in silverplate were mainly set on low legs or on a relatively low center pedestal. A wide pierced band, or one embellished with ornate clusters of grapes and leaves, encircled the base of the container. A center handle was used for passing castor at the table. Most castors provided space for six bottles.
The antique cruet caster castor frame itself measures14" tall, the revolving quadruple silverplated revolving cruet tray measures 7" in diameter with a 1.25" apron and the base is 5" in diameter. Three part cruet caster castor quadruple silverplate revolving frame comes apart for easy polishing, storage and shipping! It is marked MERIDEN SILVER PLATE CO. with an early logo of a lion within a circle. You can read more about the history of Meriden Silver Plate Co. from our Silver Manufactures pages.
A2036 - Antique MERIDEN SILVER PLATE CO. Quadruple Silverplate Dinner Cruet Castor Set