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Salières/Saltcellars
As part of the Henri Peyre French Institute’s seminar Food, Power, Exchange,
and Identity: Food and F...
Gothic
In medieval France (c. 10th century - 15th century), the dinner host as
well as the more important guests were seat...
Saltcellar
mid-13th century
Paris, France
Medium: gold, rock crystal,
emeralds, pearls, spinel or balas
rubies
Height: 5 ½...
Salt-cellar
15th century
France
Agate, gold, opaque enamels on
gold ronde-bosse, pearls
Height: 0.10 m (3.94 inches)
Musée...
The 16th Century
Saltcellars in the shape of ships have been recorded in inventories
since the 13th century, but an extrao...
The Burghley Nef
1527-1528
Paris, France
Artist: Unknown
Materials and Techniques:
Nautilus shell with parcel-gilt
silver ...
Pair of Saltcellars
ca. 1520–40
France (perhaps at
Saint-Porchaire)
The Morgan Library
and Museum
http://www.themorga
n.or...
Salt-cellar bearing the emblems of Henri II
Mid-16th century
France, Saint-Porchaire workshop
Kaolinic clay with lead glaz...
Salt-Cellar with a Mermaid,
Shells, and Dolphins
circa 1560-1600
France
after Bernard Palissy (1509-1590)
Height: 7 3/16 i...
Salt Cellar with Sphinxes
circa 1560-1600
France
after Bernard Palissy (1509-1590)
Height: 3 ¾ inches (9.53 cm)
The Los An...
Salt cellar: the Triumph of
Venus; Aeneas received by Dido
Mid-16th century
Limoges (France)
Attributed to Pierre REYMOND
...
Salt-cellar: The Labours of Hercules
Mid-16th century
Limoges (France)
Pierre REYMOND (1513-1584)
Painted enamel on copper...
Salt-cellar decorated with
scenes from the life of Moses
Mid-16th century
Limoges (France)
Painted enamel on copper
Height...
Salière
c. 1600
François Briot (c. 1545- c. 1620)
Etain (pewter)
Height: 0.11 m (4.33 inches)
Dijon, musée des Beaux-Arts
...
From the 17th Century Onwards
Just a few highlights can reveal to what heights artists continued to
reach with regards to ...
Salt-cellar: Louis XIII and
the Virtues
c. 1615
Limoges (France)
Painted enamel on copper
Height: 9.3 cm (3.66 inches)
Mus...
One of a set of
two salt-cellars
1734-36
Paris
Thomas GERMAIN
(1673 – 1748)
Silver
Musée du Louvre
http://www.louvre.f
r/e...
Pair of salt-cellars
1778-79, Paris
Marc-Étienne JANETY (1739-1820)
Silver, blue crystal
Arms of the Bayon de Libertat fam...
Boîte à sel en bois
1816
Ustensile de cuisine
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Gallica
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/b...
Imagining
Nautical motifs can be reworked in various ways when designing
saltcellars, but some artists made other topics b...
Design for two saltcellars
1540-1560
Paris, France
Engraving print on paper
Artists/Makers:
Pierre Milan (attributed to,
e...
Dessein d'une salière poivrière pour le Roy approuvé par Sa Majesté et par S.A.S. M. le Duc [d'Antin]
1727
Bibliothèque na...
Pot à Sucre (Sugar Bowl) and Salière à deux
(Double Salt Cellar), plate 53, in Elements
d'Orfèvrerie (Elements of Goldsmit...
Différents Desseins de Salières
[Various Designs for Salt Dishes],
pl. 63 in Œuvre de Juste-Aurèle
Meissonnier
1748
Paris,...
Two Mysteries
#1. Greco-Roman themed saltcellars made of copper and painted enamel can
date from 16th and 17th century Fra...
Salt-cellar: Neptune and Amphitrite
Date?
Limoges (France)
Painted enamel on copper
Height: 7.5 cm (2.95 inches)
Former Du...
Salt
1800–1900
United States or France
Lacy pressed amber glass
Height: 2 3/16 in. (5.6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum
of Art...
Sources
Mollat, Michel. Le rôle du sel dans l'histoire : travaux préparés sous la
direction de Michel Mollat. Paris: Press...
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Salières & Salt cellars, a slide show by Anna Soo-Hoo for the HPFI

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Salières & Salt Cellars in France, the story in words and pictures.
A slide show by Anna Soo-Hoo for HPFI

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Salières & Salt cellars, a slide show by Anna Soo-Hoo for the HPFI

  1. 1. Salières/Saltcellars As part of the Henri Peyre French Institute’s seminar Food, Power, Exchange, and Identity: Food and Foodstuffs in the French and Francophone Worlds, this slide show invites the viewer to consider how various types of beautifully made saltcellars from France reflect the historical significance of salt. Prepared by Anna Soo-Hoo Fall 2015
  2. 2. Gothic In medieval France (c. 10th century - 15th century), the dinner host as well as the more important guests were seated nearest the saltcellar. Not only was salt a reminder of one’s covenant with God (for example, see Numbers 18:19 and 2 Chronicles 13:5), salt also became even more expensive when the gabelle, a tax on salt, was created in the 14th century. Finely decorated saltcellars made of gold were in households of the nobility. In this slide show, the second saltcellar featured has details such as twelve turrets and thirteen of its originally seventeen gargoyles, architectural elaborations chosen even for a luxury item of such small size.
  3. 3. Saltcellar mid-13th century Paris, France Medium: gold, rock crystal, emeralds, pearls, spinel or balas rubies Height: 5 ½ in. (14 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art http://www.metmuseum.org/coll ection/the-collection- online/search/469879
  4. 4. Salt-cellar 15th century France Agate, gold, opaque enamels on gold ronde-bosse, pearls Height: 0.10 m (3.94 inches) Musée du Louvre http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartel en/visite?srv=car_not_frame& idNotice=746&langue=en
  5. 5. The 16th Century Saltcellars in the shape of ships have been recorded in inventories since the 13th century, but an extraordinary example that has details such as tiny figures of Tristan and Iseult playing chess on deck while sailors climb the rigging, with the entire ship being supported by a mermaid, brings us to 16th century Paris where the famous Burghley Nef was made. The mermaid motif appears on yet another saltcellar worth noting: a double-tailed mermaid becomes the focus of a saltcellar made after the style of Bernard Palissy (1509- 1590). This might bring to mind the character of Mélusine, who is sometimes depicted as a double-tailed mermaid, from Le Roman de Mélusine by Jean d'Arras (14th century). France in the 16th century was a time when many artists and writers had a surging interest in works from Greco-Roman antiquity. It is thus not surprising that some saltcellars bring Hercules as well as Dido and Aeneas to the dinner table.
  6. 6. The Burghley Nef 1527-1528 Paris, France Artist: Unknown Materials and Techniques: Nautilus shell with parcel-gilt silver mounts, raised, chased, engraved and cast, and pearls. Height: 34.8 cm (13.7 inches) The Victoria and Albert Museum, London http://collections.vam.ac.uk/it em/O73113/the-burghley-nef- salt-cellar-unknown/#
  7. 7. Pair of Saltcellars ca. 1520–40 France (perhaps at Saint-Porchaire) The Morgan Library and Museum http://www.themorga n.org/collection/painti ngs-and-art- objects/object/158228 The above saltcellar is decorated with salamanders in flames, the emblem of the French king François I (1494–1547), and has a height of 5 ½ inches (140 mm.) This saltcellar with interlaced crescents, the insignia of Henri II's mistress Diane de Poitiers (1499–1566), has a height of 5 inches (127 mm.)
  8. 8. Salt-cellar bearing the emblems of Henri II Mid-16th century France, Saint-Porchaire workshop Kaolinic clay with lead glaze, embossed decoration Height: 6.20 cm (2.44 inches) Musée du Louvre http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?srv=car_n ot_frame&idNotice=5303&langue=en
  9. 9. Salt-Cellar with a Mermaid, Shells, and Dolphins circa 1560-1600 France after Bernard Palissy (1509-1590) Height: 7 3/16 inches (18.26 cm) The Los Angeles County Museum of Art http://collections.lacma.org/nod e/243569
  10. 10. Salt Cellar with Sphinxes circa 1560-1600 France after Bernard Palissy (1509-1590) Height: 3 ¾ inches (9.53 cm) The Los Angeles County Museum of Art http://collections.lacma.org/nod e/243680
  11. 11. Salt cellar: the Triumph of Venus; Aeneas received by Dido Mid-16th century Limoges (France) Attributed to Pierre REYMOND (1513-1584) Height: 7.9 cm (3.11 inches) Musée du Louvre http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/vis ite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=15 473&langue=en
  12. 12. Salt-cellar: The Labours of Hercules Mid-16th century Limoges (France) Pierre REYMOND (1513-1584) Painted enamel on copper Height: 8.2 cm (3.23 inches) Musée du Louvre http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?s rv=car_not_frame&idNotice=15417&lang ue=en
  13. 13. Salt-cellar decorated with scenes from the life of Moses Mid-16th century Limoges (France) Painted enamel on copper Height: 7.8 cm (3.07 inches) Musée du Louvre http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/vis ite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=53 52&langue=en
  14. 14. Salière c. 1600 François Briot (c. 1545- c. 1620) Etain (pewter) Height: 0.11 m (4.33 inches) Dijon, musée des Beaux-Arts Photo (C) RMN-Grand Palais / Stéphane Maréchalle http://www.photo.rmn.fr/archive /10-529795- 2C6NU0YRARAR.html
  15. 15. From the 17th Century Onwards Just a few highlights can reveal to what heights artists continued to reach with regards to creating saltcellars during periods when salt remained a precious commodity. How to be an ideal king is shown on a 17th century saltcellar depicting Henri IV’s son and successor Louis XIII with the Virtues. The aristocracy also appreciated naturalistic-looking saltcellars, such as the set of two saltcellars that was part of the famed Penthièvre-Orléans service. Each is a covered saltcellar: the crab, turtle, and scallop that are the receptacles for salt have shells that are also hinged lids. The third image in our short series suggests that for the manager of a plantation in the former French colony of Saint-Domingue, impressive saltcellars were desired. Lastly, rather than look at saltcellar models from the 19th and 20th centuries, since salt became less expensive after the gabelle was abolished in 1790 (then reinstated and abolished again a few more times until its final end in 1945), it would be worthwhile to take note of a finely made “boîte à sel,” a kitchen utensil that was used for storing salt.
  16. 16. Salt-cellar: Louis XIII and the Virtues c. 1615 Limoges (France) Painted enamel on copper Height: 9.3 cm (3.66 inches) Musée du Louvre http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartele n/visite?srv=car_not_frame&id Notice=16604&langue=en
  17. 17. One of a set of two salt-cellars 1734-36 Paris Thomas GERMAIN (1673 – 1748) Silver Musée du Louvre http://www.louvre.f r/en/oeuvre- notices/two- saltcellars
  18. 18. Pair of salt-cellars 1778-79, Paris Marc-Étienne JANETY (1739-1820) Silver, blue crystal Arms of the Bayon de Libertat family (Saint-Domingue) Musée du Louvre http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=4241&langue=en
  19. 19. Boîte à sel en bois 1816 Ustensile de cuisine Bibliothèque nationale de France, Gallica http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b102065 848.r=Boite+%C3%A0+sel+en+bois+1816+T R.langEN
  20. 20. Imagining Nautical motifs can be reworked in various ways when designing saltcellars, but some artists made other topics bloom in their designs. For example, if the goddess Cybele breast-feeding a baby is not enough of a feature, one might include a scene of a couple expressing their ardor for each other. A design for such an intricate saltcellar has been attributed to artists associated with the Fontainebleau school, a school that was named for artists who helped to decorate François I’s Château de Fontainebleau.
  21. 21. Design for two saltcellars 1540-1560 Paris, France Engraving print on paper Artists/Makers: Pierre Milan (attributed to, engraver) René Boyvin, born 1520 (attributed to, engraver) Antonio Fantuzzi, (attributed to, engraver) Léonard Thiry (after, artist) Rosso Fiorentino, born 1494 - died 1540 (after, artist) The Victoria and Albert Museum, London http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item /O795443/print-milan/
  22. 22. Dessein d'une salière poivrière pour le Roy approuvé par Sa Majesté et par S.A.S. M. le Duc [d'Antin] 1727 Bibliothèque nationale de France, Gallica http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6937018j.r=sali%C3%A8re.langEN
  23. 23. Pot à Sucre (Sugar Bowl) and Salière à deux (Double Salt Cellar), plate 53, in Elements d'Orfèvrerie (Elements of Goldsmithing), Second Part 1748 France Print Designer: Pierre Germain (1716–83) Etcher: Jean Jacques Pasquier (died 1785) Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18248 787/
  24. 24. Différents Desseins de Salières [Various Designs for Salt Dishes], pl. 63 in Œuvre de Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier 1748 Paris, France Print Designer: Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (1695–1750) Etcher: Gabriel Huquier (1695–1772) Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum http://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects /18222503/
  25. 25. Two Mysteries #1. Greco-Roman themed saltcellars made of copper and painted enamel can date from 16th and 17th century France, but a slightly tilting saltcellar from Limoges made of similar material and featuring Neptune and Amphitrite might be from a different time period. #2. Pressed glass, developed in the 19th century in the United States and then throughout Europe, was used to make drinking vessels, vases, and many other objects, of which there were saltcellars, of course. In some cases, whether the objects were created by an artisan in the United States or by an artisan in France remains difficult to say with certainty.
  26. 26. Salt-cellar: Neptune and Amphitrite Date? Limoges (France) Painted enamel on copper Height: 7.5 cm (2.95 inches) Former Durand collection, acquired in 1825 Musée du Louvre http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?srv =car_not_frame&idNotice=15470&langue =en
  27. 27. Salt 1800–1900 United States or France Lacy pressed amber glass Height: 2 3/16 in. (5.6 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art http://www.metmuseum.o rg/collection/the- collection- online/search/7046
  28. 28. Sources Mollat, Michel. Le rôle du sel dans l'histoire : travaux préparés sous la direction de Michel Mollat. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1968. Pressed Glass, 1825-1925. Corning, NY: Corning Museum of Glass, 1983. Images from: Bibliothèque nationale de France The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum The Los Angeles County Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York The Morgan Library and Museum Musée du Louvre The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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