AC Silver

Mustard Pots – A Potted History


History of Mustard pots

Ever heard the phrase ‘that’s mustard’ or ‘doesn’t cut the mustard’? Even if that last comment is a little archaic, the phrase –amazingly– is a carry on from the cowboys of mid-19th century America. That’s about 175 years of mustardy goodness being a part of colloquial speech.

Mustard hasn’t just been used to enhance meals. It has been used as more than just a condiment; it is said that mustard is also: a deodoriser, a remedy for a sore throat (if you mix it with a little lemon juice), a decongestant, a muscle relaxant, and mild mustard is even good for skin.

Mustard was such a popular condiment that in Medieval ages the ‘Great House’ of the time would have their very own Mustarder, they were solely responsible for making sure the households mustard supply never ran dry.

What is a Mustard Pot?

Originally mustard was used on the table in its dry state, and only due to its popularity did it become widely available in its more recognisable wet form.

The change from the dry to wet mustard took place in the 18th century, and with this came the opportunity for the condiment container to become an elaborate yet practical table decoration.

Design and Style of the Mustard Pot

It is common for antique silver mustard pots to feature the pierced body design with a glass liner which is usually blue, and before this style became popular most mustard pots were gilded inside. This was to prevent corrosion of the metal due to the mustard itself comprising of acidic ingredients.


Given that mustard was originally served in its dry state, it makes sense that a caster was initially used to sprinkle mustard onto your dish.


This was the most popular type of mustard pot. The cover of the drum pot was flat, or sometimes domed with scrolling thumb-pieces and handles.


The early 19th Century brought with it plain oblong mustard pots. Their domed lids were often accompanied with a ball shaped finial and also saw a change in handle design: from scroll to bracket handle.


In the 1780’s the vase shaped mustard pot became a popular choice. These mustard pots were often lined with blue glass liners.

Collecting Mustard Pots

When it comes to collecting silver mustard pots, it is often difficult to find pieces crafted prior to the seventeenth century. If you do manage to locate then you may find them to be rather expensive and rare.

This segment is inspired by feedback from a dear customer of ours; he decided to add one of our mustard pots to a collection being developed specifically for a mustard pot museum. This museum will be based in a small town in the Netherlands, called Doesburg. Doesburg is known for its mustard factory, which, according to our customer, makes the most appetising mustard there is!

We can’t say for sure if the last comment is entirely true, but the feedback is always appreciated.

Dear Andrew, This afternoon I received the parcel with the beautiful mustard pot.
It is a beauty indeed !
I’m living in the little town of Doesburg and in the Netherlands it is
called a mustard town, because there is a mustardfactory producing the
most appetizing mustard there is.
That’s the reason that I started two years ago to develop a museum
especially for a collection of antique silver mustard pots. It is a long
way but it is so nice to do it.
The George V mustard pot will be part of the collection in the new museum.
Finally it is good to write you that you are a more than perfect seller and so
is your communication and presentation of the mustard pot.
Thank you very much.
With kind regards from the Netherlands,
Martin de Kleijn

Exit mobile version