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Peter Mood, Sr., Barrell Form Silver Salt Cellars, Charleston, SC, c. 1790

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Oval salt cellars with trompe l'oeil decoration styled as open barrels are quite rare.  Even rarer is that they were made by southern master Peter Mood from Charleston, SC.

Made from heavy sheet, the oval bodies are chased with vertical lines to represent the joints between the wooden staves.  Applied drawn molded horizontal bands recreate the metal hoops.  Each body rests on four graceful cast paw feet. One side of each cellar is engraved with the family crest that we have been unable to identify, although someone specializing in Southern heraldry may find it.

Mood's family was German (Muth), arriving in Philadelphia about 1750. His father and three elder brothers fought in the Revolutionary Army and were captured by the British; his father died from an illness caught during his imprisonment. Peter was only 8 when the war started. Moving to Charleston in 1785, Peter Mood began a successful career as a silversmith, teaching his sons John and Peter, Jr. the trade, partnering with John by 1816, and Peter, Jr. by 1819. The Charleston Museum owns a cruet frame by him. (1) Holloware by Peter Mood, Sr. is rarely seen on the market - although pieces by his sons occasionally show up.

These delightful salts measure 3.2 inches long by 2.4 inches wide and 2 inches high. They are marked with Mood's "PM" mark in a rectangular stamp. Both are in excellent antique condition with expected light wear and scratching.


E. Milby Burton and Warren Ripley, South Carolina Silversmiths: 1690-1860, Third Revised Edition, (Charleston: Charleston Museum, 1991), p. 70.