A lot of the sets of shakers in my collection are what the world of salt-and-pepper-set collectors, apparently, call “go-withs”–the ones I like to call binary opposites: the shakers depict two quite different objects that have some logical or linguistic collection to each other, like the common opposites of black and white or good and evil or adults and children, or for that matter, salt and pepper. Take, for instance, this pair: The two shakers look nothing like each other, and so it might take a moment or two to figure out the puzzle: it’s a goose and an egg, and geese lay eggs, and the egg is golden so, wait, I get it now, it’s the goose that laid the golden egg. And considering the size of the goose and the size of the egg, it must have been really, really painful.
In the next series of posts here, I’m going to consider a series of go-withs in which one of each pair is also to be found in the next pair. So now it’s a guessing game: which of the goose or the egg will appear in my next post, and what will be paired with it?