In May 2012, I released a post about some of the bowls I use on my altar; specifically, what I use for my water bowl, censer, salt bowl, and incense bowl. One of the things I like best about the collection is that none of the four bowls are identical. The water bowl and censer relate to each other, and the salt and incense bowls are essentially different glazes on the same bowl shape. There’s just one tool in this array that doesn’t have a match: my salt spoon.
My salt spoon is, in fact, a miniature spoon that was specifically made back in the day to accompany a personal salt cellar at a place setting. It’s a sterling silver job made by Cartier, so I do treasure it as it’s likely the only thing I’ll ever own from that house. I don’t remember where I picked it up–probably eBay or a thrift market–and I didn’t pay too much for it. But the spoon is perfect for my aesthetic tastes (very simple), and it is *awesome* for transferring salt to water in ritual. I’ve long wanted a similar one to use for incense, but I’ve never been able to track anything down until this past week.
I found spoon no. 2 randomly through eBay. I was just scanning through the listings of salt spoons–I didn’t even use my typical search terms I had tried over the past few years. And there it was. From the seller’s pictures and description, I thought the new spoon would look close enough to mine to work…but I didn’t realize they’d be identical! Truly, the only difference I can tell between them is that the “Sterling” stamping on the back is less-deep on the knock off, and it’s missing the Cartier mark. I couldn’t be more pleased!
I know being pleased with a salt spoon is ridiculously trivial, but it’s just one of those small details that brings my altar just that much closer to the ideal I have in my head. And that brings me some nice mundane satisfaction.