Refined design, exquisite craftsmanship, and costly materials make this a rare and unusually precious object. The rock crystal, cut in the shape of a boat, may have served as a container for salt. Such table objects are described in several French royal inventories. The attribution is supported by the similarity of design to other mid-thirteenth century objects ascribed to Paris, a preeminent center of goldsmithing and carved crystal work.
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Geography:Made in Paris, France
Medium:Gold, rock crystal, emeralds, pearls, spinel or balas rubies
Dimensions:5 7/8 × 3 7/16 in. (15 × 8.8 cm) Rock Crystal: 1 5/16 × 2 1/8 × 3 3/8 in. (3.3 × 5.4 × 8.5 cm) Diam. of foot: 3 1/8 in. (8 cm)
Credit Line:The Cloisters Collection, 1983
Maurice Tempelsman, New York ; [ A La Vieille Russie, New York (sold 1960)] ; Hembleton (The Cygnus Collection), New York ; [ Robin Symes Limited, New York and London (sold 1983)]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mirror of the Medieval World," March 9–June 1, 1999.
Cleveland Museum of Art. "Myth and Mystique: Cleveland's French Gothic Table Fountain," October 9, 2016–February 26, 2017.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1983-1984 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1984). pp. 12–13.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Fourteenth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1983, through June 30, 1984." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 114 (1984). p. 40.
Parker, Elizabeth C. "Recent Major Acquisitions of Medieval Art by American Museums." Gesta 24, no. 4 (1985). p. 171, fig. 11.
Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 82, p. 92.
Wixom, William D. "A Salt Cellar of Crystal and Gold of the Thirteenth Century in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Hommage à Hubert Landais: Art, objets d'art, collections. Études sur l'art du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance sur l'histoire du goût et des collections. Paris: Blanchard, 1987. pp. 30–35, fig. 1a–d.
Burn, Barbara, ed. Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. p. 60.
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 125, pp. 103–104.
Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. p. 24, fig. 17.
Normore, Christina. "Navigating the World of Meaning." Gesta 51, no. 1 (2012). p. 25, fig. 3.
Le Pogam, Pierre-Yves, ed. Saint Louis. Paris: Centre des monuments nationaux, 2014. no. 102, pp. 254–255.
Le Pogam, Pierre-Yves. "Dépouillement et expressivité." In Saint Louis, edited by Pierre-Yves Le Pogam. Paris: Centre des monuments nationaux, 2014. no. 102, pp. 175, 186, fig. 149.
Fliegel, Stephen. "The Cleveland Table Fountain." In Myth and Mystique: Cleveland's Gothic Table Fountain, edited by Stephen Fliegel, and Elina Gertsman. Cleveland Masterwork Series, Vol. 3. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2016. p. 23, fig. 19.
Fliegel, Stephen, and Elina Gertsman, ed. Myth and Mystique: Cleveland's Gothic Table Fountain. Cleveland Masterwork Series, Vol. 3. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2016. no. 8, pp. 120–23.
Beer, Manuela, ed. Magic Rock Crystal. Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2023. fig. 342, pp. 355–358.
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