Over the years we had found these in pieces, a cruet here, a jar there. We fell in love with the crystal bottles, stoppers, and silver-plate lids. We were lucky enough to recently acquire a collection of mostly complete sets, and dove into their history and uses. Seeing so many all together, there was a myriad of sets, each so unique.
They are called castor sets. The Antique Almanac is a great resource, and has this to say about the history of castor sets.
Just about every Victorian dinner table had a device called a castor, filled with jars and bottles of condiments, sitting in its center. According to directions for setting the table given in cookbooks of the period, that’s exactly where it should have been. The revolving castor set was one of the most widely used pieces of Victorian tableware. The castor set was such an important part of the table setting, that no matter how humble, a family would have one sitting in the middle of their table. But castor sets go back even further.
People used castor sets holding just salt and pepper as far back as the 17th century. Sterling silver castor sets, containing a sugar castor, mustard pot, spice dredger or shaker, bottles for vinegar and oil, and other spice holders became popular by the 18th century. But it was the Victorians that made the castor set de rigeur at meals.
The American Victorian castor set, made of silver plated Britannia metal, is the type most collected today. It held several glass bottles. One pair was for salt and pepper. Usually there was a pair with glass stoppers for oil and vinegar. One bottle had a hinged lid with a slot for a spoon. This was for mustard. Other bottles could hold soy sauce, spices or “castor” sugar which was a pounded sugar—not powdered sugar and
not granulated sugar—which cooks made by pounding loaf sugar with a mortar and pestle.
The sets that we acquired are silver plated, mostly British, and Victorian era. We did some minor cleaning because these were coated with years of dust. We love the natural aged patina of the silver plate. Our mission was to repurpose, because no one wants food in these. While collecting to sit on a mantle is great, putting something to use is always what we prefer.
Anything old, beautiful, and small always lends itself to being an altar or tabletop piece. In this first photo, the cruet is used to hold a meditation oil, dried herbs and a secret wish are buried in the castor jar, and the salt shaker holds earth. Part of our mission is to elevate the everyday. Having these gorgeous items to carry wishes, hold precious stones, oils or herbs, infuses a bit of magick into a nightly ritual.
After many months away from Tarot lounge we were all missing it. As we navigate this new normal we must continue to find a way to connect and learn. We have a new format we hope you will love. We are choosing to turn each virtual lounge into a fundraiser for a different local non-profit. Tygerlili will be donating her time and the Disco Dolls will provide the platform. The event will be held on zoom from 7pm-9pm one day each month. Tygerlili will guide us through a new tarot lesson every month. In the shop we will offer meditation packs from $15-$50 that you can pick up prior to the lounge. 20% of these purchases will also go to that months charity.
This month’s edition
Thursday August 13th 7-9pm via Zoom.
Our charity this month is The Sewist Society: a textile recycling non-profit.
Here is how it works:
If you would like to attend just donate a minimum of $5 to The Sewist Society and then email us at email@example.com with your donation and we will email you the zoom link.
You can also come into the shop and donate or pick out a meditation pack. Send us a text (813-641-4367) or email with any questions.
We look forward to spending some time with you virtually.
~The Disco Dolls Team~
Stay Tuned for next months date!
July art show: Its Time To Wake Up: Dear Humans by artist Bridget Ahearn. " Its time to wake up is a series meant to illustrate this current revolutionary moment in time. Inspired by the BLM protest and the feeling of people around the world being consciously awakened. I hope to inspire empathy and action from the viewer." @old_crow_
" My name Bridget Ahearn. I'm a St. Pete artist. I paint to express my views on spirituality, feminism, human rights, astrological & esoteric concepts, and love. I hope to connect with the viewer through honest and simple statements, while drawing them in with a vibrant color palette."
This is our salon. We like to keep it small, and intimate, and that was before the pandemic. Now, it's a necessity. I was unsure how things were going to work, there was so much unknown about the transmission. As the months have progressed, we seem to be making it work. We are thankful that brands like Framar and O Way had sustainable options in place for single use protective garments and towels. All of our single use items are biodegradable and we started composting! Ericka Leigh joined our team in more of a full time capacity, and is overseeing our compost and recycling.
It has been of the utmost importance to us that we are able to maintain our environmental mission, while keeping our staff and clients as safe as possible.
The strange part is, it's starting to feel a bit normal. Turning on the HEPA filters along with the lights, everything in the UV sanitizer, and spraying down everyone who comes through the door. The great thing is, I feel safe. I feel like I'm keeping my clients safe. Let's all just try to do our best, and keep doing it. Stay vigilant!
We would first like to say thank you for everyone’s continued support and kind words of encouragement during this time of social distancing. The outpouring of love from our community has given us so much joy and light during this seemingly dark time.
We are proud to say we have made nearly two thousand masks for the public!
This week, with Phase One of the state of Florida re-opening, we have decided we will be opening the boutique June 1st. We will continue offering online shopping and store pick up, as well as local delivery and shipping options.
We are doing a complete overhaul of our salon, gallery, and boutique to ensure the safety of everyone who visits and works at The Disco Dolls Studio. The safety and well-being of our staff and patrons is our top priority. We will be implementing new sanitation regulations as well as salon and retail procedures when we are ready to welcome the public back into our space.
Staff and patrons alike will be required to wear masks. If you do not have a mask, we will have clean, fresh, sustainable masks for you to wear. Statements of wellness will be required, however we are waiting to see what guidelines are released.
A HEPA filtration system will be installed for the building. We will be doing UV sanitation of tools, as well as frequent daily cleansing and disinfection of all common areas. We have removed all seating that is not easily sanitized.
When visiting the Salon...
We will be converting from our recyclable materials and now using single use biodegradable materials including capes, towels, gloves and foil alternatives.
New procedures when you have an appointment:
We ask that you wait in your car until your appointment time, your stylist will gladly come get you.
Appointments will be staggered to keep traffic to a minimum. This means earlier availability, and possibly Sundays!
We also ask that only the person who has the appointment be in the salon.
Stylists will limit the number of clients they are able to take per day. This will insure less overlap, and time for sanitation.
Check out will now be completed at the Stylists’ station.
A newly renovated restroom will be salon only designated to limit contact.
Complete disinfection of the Stylists’ station will occur between each client.
When visiting the gallery and boutique...
We will not offer open door shopping, or art viewing. Appointments will be required for anyone wanting to shop, or view the current featured artist. This will create a more curated, personal experience! Additionally, all of the vintage clothing will now be offsite to decrease the number of fibrous items in the space. Don’t worry, the vintage collection will still be available online for local pickup!
We are updating and maintaining all of our social media frequently so each platform can provide up to date information of our stock and virtual events.
Our business is based on personal interaction, so much change is needed in this new era. We are completely changing our day to day procedures in the hopes of maintaining everyone’s health and well-being.
We will be contacting and rescheduling everyone who had a hair appointment during the shutdown. Please have patience and know we are working diligently to open our doors safely and hopefully, in the not so distant future.
Thank you again for your continued support in the past decade, and especially over these past couple of months. Hope to see you soon!
-The Disco Dolls