Lead-glazed earthenware inlaid with slip, with molded ornament
Height: 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 544
The seated female figure with her ankle on her knee may represent Venus (Aphrodite), born of the sea and thus a suitable adornment for a receptacle designed to hold salt, although the present example was meant solely for display. The goddess was frequently depicted in this pose, either bathing or removing a thorn from her foot. The other niches contain a hoofed, hairy figure, possibly a satyr, and a putto holding the arms of France.
possibly Pourtales ; Charles Stein , Paris (until 1886; sale, Charles Stein collection, 1886, no. 97); Baron Albert von Oppenheim , Cologne (before 1904–06; sold to Morgan through M. J. Seligmann); J. Pierpont Morgan , New York (until 1917; to MMA)