Salt Cellar

ITALIAN GOLDSMITH

ITALIAN GOLDSMITH

Salt Cellar
19th century
Gilded bronze and carnelian, 2.37 x 4,73 x 3.15 inch.

 

The object consists of a carnelian cup inserted on a gilded and chiselled bronze support. The handles have the shape of an harpy, the edge is adorned with a perlée ferrule and the circular base has a espalier decoration. The pedestal is composed by four corbels and a mixtilinear base.

For the shape and the depth we can assume that it was a salt cellar. (salt cellars were important objects because they contained salt, that was considered a valuable good. The most famous example is the one that Cellini made for Francis I).

The style has a Mannerism echo as we can recognize in the choice of the harpies and in the use of the corbels, very common in the XVI century architecture. However, it can be dated to the first decades of the XIX century and it was probably produced as a keepsake for foreign people who went on the Gran Tour.

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