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The Love of Washington Leads to a Unique Collection

I have been collecting novelty salt and pepper shakers for five years.  It all started suddenly. Many collectors have their parents or grandparents who collected things. Not mine. I am the first collector in my family. I never even imagined I would collect salt and pepper shakers, or anything. My love for salt and pepper shakers came with the love for our new home, Washington State.

My husband and I moved to Auburn, Washington from Saint-Petersburg Russia in 2005. We fell in love with the Evergreen state and we have traveled all over the state. One day I was browsing eBay to find some kind of vintage souvenir of Washington state. I love vintage things. They bring so much history, memories, and feelings. So that’s why I went on eBay to find something old, representing our state. And guess what I found? Yes, salt and pepper shakers. I purchased them and as you might know, as soon as you buy something on eBay it starts to suggest similar items. And who knew there were so many different, colorful, and just beautiful salt and peppers shakers!

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Nadine Pavlov with her expansive salt and pepper shakers collection | Photo from Nadine Pavlov

I remember sitting on the couch browsing eBay and fascinated with the beautiful little figurines. I got up, and told my husband, “I am going to collect salt and pepper shakers!” And that was the beginning.

Finding Salt and Pepper Shakers

I began to buy the shakers because they were so hard to resist. They all are different styles, shapes, colors, and forms. Fruits, vegetables, animals, people, different objects – you name it!  They are simply darling, cute and adorable works of art. I have now about 400 sets in my collection.

It is a fun hobby and not really expensive. There are valuable sets that cost hundreds of dollars of course. But most of them are from 5$ to $50 a set. I look for them everywhere – at yard and estate sales, antique shops and online.

When I was just starting to collect, I had no idea there are other people like me who love these cuties. I started to google in hopes of finding one or two collectors like me, and I found a club! Yes, there’s a club for people who collect salt and pepper shakers! If you are on Instagram, you can follow the club page @nspsclub and you will be amazed how cool the different collection of salt and pepper shakers are. You can also see my collection @senapa_collection.


Nadine lives in Auburn and works at Green River College.  She has shared her photographs of Auburn in the Auburn Photo Gallery.

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