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Treasure Hunting

New uses for Vintage Salt Bowls

Vintage crystal salt bowls for sale at Spokane's Antiquarian. (Cheryl-Anne Millsap / Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)
Vintage crystal salt bowls for sale at Spokane's Antiquarian. (Cheryl-Anne Millsap / Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

Last week while out making my weekly treasure hunting rounds, I stopped by the Antiquarian, on Division between First and Pacific Avenues.

The antique mall has been a Spokane staple for a number of years and is a place I always recommend when asked where to shop for fine antiques, especially larger pieces of furniture. (I was there because I'm always searching for a set of oak barrister cases to match the ones I have, knowing it's a long shot.)

Before I left I caught sight of a big bowl filled with small crystal and china salt dishes. While a few were priced a bit higher, most were only $6 each.

I snapped a picture and all the way home I thought about the tiny crystal bowls, imagining ways they could be put to use. I remembered seeing an idea on Pinterest for using small berry bowl-sized dishes arranged in a drawer as storage for little odds and ends. What if you were to adapt that idea to a smaller scale?

Tiny crystal salt dishes on a silver tray on a dressing table or in a dresser drawer would make a pretty way to separate and store earrings, necklaces, rings and other pieces of jewelry. On a desk they could be used to hold stamps and paper clips, or to sort coins for parking meter change. If you already have a collection of crystal salts, you could do what the Antiquarian did and fill a big bowl with them. It would make an interesting centerpiece.

Of course, if you're the practical sort, I suppose you could always just fill them with salt and set the table.

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and  CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at

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Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes about antiques and collectibles and the love of all things vintage. Millsap's Home Planet column appears each week in the Wednesday "Pinch" supplement and she is The Spokesman-Review's female automobile reviewer. She is a regular contributor to Spokane Public Radio and her essays can be heard on Public Radio stations across the country. Cheryl-Anne is the author of "Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons."