Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saltcellar

Date:
mid-13th century
Geography:
Made in Paris, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Gold, rock crystal, emeralds, pearls, spinel or balas rubies
Dimensions:
H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); Diam. of foot: 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1983
Accession Number:
1983.434
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
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.
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)]
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