Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Standing salt with cover

British, London
Gilt silver
Height: 11 3/8 in. (28.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Chester D. Tripp, 1952
Accession Number:
Not on view
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.
Inscription: Inscribed under base: THOMAS*VARAM*GIFT*TO*THE*CITTIE*FOR*EVER

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

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], [4] (and perhaps [2]) stamped on rim
Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex and Earl of Inverness (until d. 1843; his sale, Christie & Manson, London, June 22–23, 26–27, 1843, no. 620); J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1947; sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, November 1, 1947, no. 461; sold for $4,000 to E. & A. Silberman Galleries, Inc.); [ E. & A. Silberman Galleries, Inc. , from 1947 ] ; Chester D. Tripp (until 1952; to MMA)
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