A covetable piece: Victorian cruet set

Setting a celebratory table? Don't forget to garnish with an antique cruet set

Cruet’ derives from the French crue, meaning earthenware pot, but when cruet sets arrived in Britain in the 17th century, they were intricate glass and silver affairs. The first cruets in Britain had two bottles (one for oil, one for vinegar) but by the 1720s the addition of sugar, mustard and pepper called for five-bottle sets known as ‘Warwick’ frames. As travel increased during the Victorian era, when this seven-piece set was made (seventh bottle just seen), more exotic flavours such as soy had found their way to the table. 

Victorian silver-plated cruet frame, £75, Focus on the Past, 25 Waterloo Street, Bristol, BS8 4BT (0117 973 8080; focusonthepast.org)

Photo: Mark Bolton

As seen in Homes & Antiques January 2015

Next month, unlock the delights of antique keys...

The finest small scale interiors
previous feature article
How to create perfect lighting in nine steps
next feature article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here