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I purchased this Bob White tall salt shaker and pepper mill at a thrift shop for $2.99. I would appreciate any information you might have about the pepper mill. I’ve seen a similar Smart Set pepper mill on EBay, but haven’t come across any references to one in the Bob White pattern. The metal strip on the bottom reads " Verity Southall Altadena, Calif." Thank you! Colleen
Answer: You got quite a bargain for your $2.99 purchase. Bob White and Smart Set are both patterns made in the Casual shape. Smart Set was introduced in 1953 and a brochure from that July of that year includes the pepper mill, as does a brochure dated January 1955. Bob White was introduced in 1954. Bob White brochures dated July 1954, January 1955 and January 1956 all include the pepper mill. But 1957 brochures for both Smart Set and Bob White exclude the pepper mill. Red Wing contracted with another company to make the metal pepper grinder mechanism, and the company either went out of business or quit making the grinder. Given the scarcity of pepper mills today it would appear they were not a big seller, and Red Wing simply dropped them from production rather than seek another company to make the grinders.
It’s difficult to establish a value for an item that is seldom up for sale. If your Bob White pepper mill is in good condition (minor damage) I’d guess it would be worth $200 to $300. If it is in mint condition and includes all of the metal parts, then it might be worth up to $1000. There are many Bob White collectors out there who would love to add this piece to their collections.