Anthropomorphic Shakers

By Sylvia Tompkins, Karen Weaver, and Josh Weaver

Anthropomorphic salt and peppers are shakers gone wild!

The following anthropomorphic shaker information is from a Novelty Salt and Pepper Shakers Club 2008 Convention presentation given by Sylvia Tompkins, Karen Weaver and Josh Weaver. The names of the shaker series included in this presentation were created by Sylvia and Karen.


Anthropomorphic means to ascribe, apply, or attribute human characteristics to an animal or an inanimate object.



PY exampleThe pottery company's official name is Miyawo Company Limited (Miyao). It began in 1931 but was not introduced to the United States until after World War II. The pottery products came from Japan through many different distributors (i.e., Napco, UCAGCO, etc.).

Shakers are stamped in green PY and/or Miyao. Many sets are unmarked making identification difficult or even impossible to determine with certainty.

Eyes are the most distinguishing feature. The sets are also known for their heavy glaze made from glass particles.

What Goes Together

The easiest way to find a series is to discover the original picture box a shaker was sold in. Here's an example of the Happy Family, a set of two - a cucumber, onion, pepper and carrot.

Happy Family

Here's another example:

Different Categories of Shaker Collecting

Anthropomorphic shakers are available for collectors who specialize. Whether you collect a specific company, form type, size, animal, Christmas, advertising, etc., you will find anthropomorphic shakers to compliment your collection.


Fruit Series

Fruit is a popular anthropomorphic category.

Child Condiment Sets

This fruit condiment series was manufactured in Japan by PY/Miyao. They are stamped green with "PY" and are 3.5" in height. There are seven in this family series to date (six shown below).

Child Condiment Sets


Googly-eyed Couples

In this series the men wear hats and the women wear leafs. And of course, they have googly-eyes. It is a series of four sets that are 3.5" in height.

Googly-eyed Couples


Don't Leaf Me Out

This series of six sets shows different fruit sitting on top of a leaf.

Don't Leaf Me Out Series

Misc. Fruit



Anthropomorphic Egg vs. Humpty Dumpty


Allyson Nagel Originals

Allyson Nagel is a pottery artist from South Dakota, best known for her detailed whimsical egg characters, each a mini-sculpture in fine bisque porcelain individually created entirely by herself.


Drip and Drop

There are many versions of Drip and Drop. Here are some of them.

Drip & Drop


Mixed Fruit and Vegetables

All Fleshed Out Series


Shakin' Chefs Series by DeForest

Shakin Chefs

Bisque Beauties Series

The Bisque Beauties series can be found with unpainted and painted faces.


Anthropomorphic Flowers

Stick Figures

These sets are marked "PY" and are very difficult to find. Shown below are singles. The set is made up of two identical flowers, one with eyes looking left and the other with eyes looking right.

Stick Figures


Anthropomorphic Fire Hydrants

"Potty Break"

"Potty Break" is a series of three (until we find more!).

Potty Break 1 Potty Break 2 Potty Break 3

Vegetable Series

In Awe!

Six sets make up the In Awe! series. They all have distinctive facial features...including mouth, eyes, nose and cheeks.

In Awe! Series

Driving Me Crazy

Driving Me Crazy is a series of animals driving anthro vegetable vehicles. They are 3.75 inches. Manufactured for Ltec Ltd. Montreal label.

Driving Me Crazy

Head of the Class

Head of the Class


They're Wired

They're Wired


On the Ball

The On the Ball series can be found as google eyes and as painted eyes.

Misc. Vegetables

Webmaster Note:

For lots more information regarding anthropomorphic shakers read "Shakers Gone Wild" by Novelty Salt & Pepper Shakers Club members Karen Weaver and Sylvia Tompkins.

Shakers Gone Wild