Shake It Up

Christopher Coppola

Pity, if you will, the poor old salt and pepper shakers of yore. Back in the not too distant past, they were seen as nothing more than good and simple utilitarian objects, stepchildren, so to speak, of the otherwise well-dressed table. But like so much else in these designed-for-living-extremely-well times, the humble little objects have been transformed with wit, charm, artistry—sometimes at considerable expense. We’ll pass, for now, on the kitschy yard-sale variety found in every vintage thrift shop throughout America. Instead, we prefer something a bit more outré, something like the ten flights of delicious fantasy in these pages, everything from Jay Strongwater’s pair of songbirds in 18-karat gold to Mr. and Mrs. Chin in haute plastique from that master of Italian design, Alessi.

  • Seletti Daily Aesthetics in porcelain, $25; 866-755-9079;
  • Pampaloni Chick Egg in silver, $430; 212-753-7300;
  • Jay Strongwater Skip and Susie Songbird in 18-karat gold, $595; 877-254-0940;
  • Alessi Mr. and Mrs. Chin, $55; 602-277-0111;
  • Vivre Selection in faceted amethyst, $150; 800-411-6515;
  • ood Chemistry in porcelain, $16; 917-400-6015;
  • Branca in porcelain, $275; 312-787-1017;
  • Chiarugi in green glass and brass, $330; 617-262-6100;
  • Marcel Dzama Sea Salt and Jester Pepper in porcelain, $75; 212-849-8355;