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Collecting Mustard Pots

Mustard has been around as a condiment for over two thousand years but the first mustard pots appeared in the early 18th century when mustard started to be used in a mixture paste with spices and  vinegar. This created a need for specialised pots to be used as container for the selling of mustard by grocers and for use on the dining table. Mustard pots popularity as collectables has grown in recent years. Many people enjoy collecting mustard pots because they are relatively easy to find and many are fairly inexpensive. Plus, they make a great addition to any kitchen décor! The feature also look at some examples along with auction prices and price guide.

DOULTON Lambeth Stoneware Advertising COLMAN'S Mustard Pot c1910
DOULTON Lambeth Stoneware Advertising COLMAN’S Mustard Pot c1910. Sold for £17 on ebay, January 2022.

Mustard pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be found made from different materials including earthenware, stoneware, porcelain and glass. Some are very ornate, while others are more plain. Those offered at grocers were larger than those used on the dining table, and are some of the earliest forms of commercial packaging often being branded such as Colmans.

A rare and unusual silver mustard pot, relating to Colmans Norwich
A rare and unusual silver mustard pot, relating to Colmans Norwich. Sold for £160 at CLARKE AND SIMPSON AUCTIONS, July 2021. (Carrow Works was the home of Colman’s Mustard for 160 years).

The mustard pots for the dining table were smaller, with many being made of silver or  silver plate in the shape of a drum or boat, with an inner liner where the mustard would reside. The liner was often Bristol Blue. The silver and silver plate example are often elaborate with fretting and piercing. The pots would come with a matching mustard spoon and later might often some as part of a complete condiment set.

If you’re thinking about starting a mustard pot collection, there are a few things you should know. First, it’s important to research the different types of mustard pots available. This will help you narrow down your choices and find the pots that best suit your taste.

A rare Nottingham white stoneware mustard pot and cover in the form of a seated bear
A rare Nottingham white stoneware mustard pot and cover in the form of a seated bear c1800. Sold for £2,500 at Law Fine Art, May 2005.

Once you’ve decided on the type of mustard pot you’d like to collect, it’s time to start shopping! Antique stores, garage sales, and online auction sites are all great places to find mustard pots. Just be sure to inspect the pot carefully before making a purchase, as some may be in poor condition. Finally, it’s important to properly care for your mustard pots. Store them in a cool, dry place. With a little bit of love and attention, your mustard pots will last for many years to come!

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Exhibits at the National Mustard Museum

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