At a recent dinner party, I observed our hostess grind spices using a fascinating iron spice grinder. A little sleuthing turned up the Cast Iron Spice Grinder, crafted by the last remaining iron foundry in Scandinavia and available from Canoe in Portland, Oregon. Small in size (only 3 inches high) but weighty, it is quite the industrial object and makes a satisfyingly noisy grinding sound. You simply put whole spices into the lower chamber and grind them by twisting the upper chamber. The top then functions as the dispenser, with a natural cork lid to keep the contents fresh.
Above: The Cast Iron Spice Grinder is $65 from Canoe.