Salt, Lead-glazed earthenware inlaid with slip, with molded ornament, French, Saint-Porchaire or Paris


mid-16th century
French, Saint-Porchaire or Paris
Lead-glazed earthenware inlaid with slip, with molded ornament
Height: 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
Not on view
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)