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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Date Made:c. 1700
Materials:ceramic: hard-paste porcelain; underglaze coblat blue, overglaze red enamel, gilding
Place Made:China; Jingdezhen
Accession Number:  HD 2014.20.3
Credit Line:Gift of the Estate of Compton Allyn

A pair of six-sided, capstan-style or trencher salts, based on silver shapes, salt has a hexagonal depression at the top, a hexongonal rim, a waisted hexagonal shaped base which flares at the rim, interior is hollow, decorated in the Imari palette of underglaze blue, overglaze red enamel, and gilding (gilding has worn away almost completely), the decoration is of flower, leaves, and stems, the border of the top rim has auspicious symbols in reserves, there is a large chip to the corner edge to one of the salts. some glaze roughness on edges, grit and dirt attached to the bottom foot rim, perhaps not an exact pair but very similar, painting is by two different hands; these salts were meant to be placed on the table next to each place setting or trencher. Salt, a popular and common condiment, has long had specialized containers from which it was dispensed. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, salt was held in a single large, monumental vessel that served as the centerpiece of the table. These grand standing salts began to fade from fashion in the mid-17th century and were replaced by multiple smaller salts such as these examples. A standard 18th-century dinner service would have had four salts.

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