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The Roentgens' Berlin Secretary Cabinet

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Standing salt with cover

Date:
1584–85
Culture:
British, London
Medium:
Gilt silver
Dimensions:
H. 11 3/8 in. (28.9 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of Chester D. Tripp, 1952
Accession Number:
52.134a–e
  • Description

    Salt was a precious commodity in England during the sixteenth century, and its value was reflected by the elaborate gilt-silver containers that were made to hold it on the dining table. The so-called standing salt was placed prominently to the right of the host, indicating his or her social status.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: (under base) THOMAS*VARAM*GIFT*TO*THE*CITTIE*FOR*EVER

    Marking: [1] leopard's head crowned;
    [2] G (London date letter for 1584–85);
    [3] lion passant;
    [4] indistinct maker's mark, but probably I piercing G.

    Location of marks:
    (a) [1]-[4] stamped on base of 2 lion's masks;
    (b) traces of [2] and [4] at lower edge, before reinforcing rim was added;
    (c) faint traces of marks near bottom ring;
    (d) [1]-[4] stamped in bottom of well;
    (e) [1],[3] and [4] (and perhaps [2]) stamped on rim

  • Provenance

    J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1947; sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, November 1, 1947, no. 461; sold to E. & A. Silberman Galleries, Inc.); E. & A. Silberman Galleries, Inc. (from 1947) ; Chester D. Tripp (until 1952; to MMA)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
201422

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