The spoon is designed with the Salter's coat of arms and the
latin motto “ Sal Sappit Omnia “ which means – Salt Flavours All. It was made
in London by the silversmiths J B Carrington (1901). The Salters
Company was one of the oldest London Guilds.
The spoon also has a date on the back of 12th May 1853. The
archivist at Salters tells me that this was the date on which the lease
of the Salters Company Irish estate expired. On this date the company
assumed full ownership of the estate. ( The Irish estate was sold a
long time ago )
The decision to commemorate this important date was not made
until 5 years later in 1858 when the spoons were first commissioned.
The spoons were presented to a new member of the company on or near to
the day on which he was “made free” of the company ie. the
day when he completed his apprenticeship which normally lasted 7 years,
thus he became a freeman or 'member of the company'.
J B Carringtons made a number of spoons for the Salters company
but the archivist was unable to tell me why this particular spoon was
made as late as 1901. Probably they just ran out of stock and asked for
Spoon is 15cms (6") and weighs 51 gms
From the Salter's Guild website
London Livery Companies,
originally craft guilds, had their origins in Medieval times. They
decided who could trade and dictated prices and wages, working
conditions and welfare.
Each Company, like the
Salters, was governed by a Master and one or more Wardens who were
elected by the Court of Assistants, of which Morgan Aubrey was one.
In return for a trade
monopoly, guilds set standards, controlled quality and carried out
inspections and would mete out punishment for poor workmanship.
The term ‘Livery
Company’ came with the custom of wearing of a uniform and over
the years, each guild jockeyed for economic and political power.
Inevitably, acrimonious disputes arose. Finally, in 1515, the Court of
Aldermen settled the order of precedence of the forty-eight Livery
Companies in existence at the time, according to company wealth.
The most important and
prestigious companies were known as the ‘Great Twelve’ and
in pride of place at the top was the Worshipful Company of Mercers or
The family of Joan Vaux,
Morgan Aubrey’s wife, came from the sixth ranking Worshipful
Company of Merchant Taylors. The seventh-ranked Skinners or fur traders
disputed the position that had been accorded them, so the Merchant
Taylors and the Skinners agreed to alternate positions every year. This
is said to be the origin of the phrase ‘to be at sixes and
The Worshipful Company of
Salters ranked ninth and included individuals whose trades involved the
usage of salts and the preparation of chemical mixtures for use in
food. Guilds would ensure that members were decently buried, and
provided a special pall cloth for the occasion. They looked after their
members who were ill and unable to work, and cared for their
Wives of Salters benefited
from the £100 that Morgan Aubrey’s widow Joan left to
‘the Master Wardens and Comynalty of the Art or Mystery of the
Salters’ in her will she wrote in 1612. Joan Aubrey left money
for ‘fifty poore women’ to have a gown to wear at her
funeral and to give ‘the saide Company of Salters’ a dinner
on that day.
Five centuries later, like
many other Livery Companies, the Salters’ Company has lost its
direct connection with its original trade, but it still retains its
Latin motto: Sal Sapit Omnia – Salt Seasons Everything
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