Spice box

Nicolas II Boullet French

Not on view

The hinged compartments of this box contained dry spices for the table such as cloves, pepper, mustard, and salt. At the center is a cylindrical grater that could hold a nutmeg to be freshly ground over an otherwise bland meal. Such boxes, with their bold moldings and faceted profiles, might have been supplied as part of a large table centerpiece, or surtout. The other components of a surtout include a large central vessel with branches for candles, matching cruets for oil and vinegar, and four spice boxes. The perfectly symmetrical table arrangement emphasized the geometric form of the boxes.

Spice box, Nicolas II Boullet (French, master 1717, died 1758), Silver, French, Toulon (Aix Mint)

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