- Museum number
- Object: Cosway Salt
Salt; silver-gilt; in three sections; 1) the hollow body, square in section, which rests on unusual horse-shaped feet; 2) the shallow recess for salt; 3) the lid, surmounted by a finial in the form of a warrior in classicizing armour, holding up a blank shield and spear; the body and lid are decorated with embossed and engraved ornament, swags, masks and strapwork; each piece fully hallmarked and with maker's mark.
- Production date
Height: 21 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Gallery Label, Gallery 46, Case 6, August 2005:
‘Salts’ in Tudor England
Salt was an expensive commodity, and the taking of salt played a vital ceremonial role. It was placed in an elaborate, expensive vessel, the ‘salt’, and set on the high table for use by the hosts and principal guests. A placement ‘below’ the salt was an indicator of lesser rank and status. Salts were often given as christening presents and were highly-valued personal items.
The bold decoration of strapwork, fruit and human masks is typical ornament of the late 16th century.
Purchased with the aid of the NACF, the NHMF, the Pilgrim Trust, the Salter’s Company, and funds bequeathed by Mr K.J. Burton
Silver gilt, London, 1584-5
- On display (G46/dc6)
- Exhibition history
1997 Jan 6-26, London, Christie's, National Art Collections Fund, 'Something for Everyone'
1995 Nov 17-1996 Feb 18, London, National Portrait Gallery, 'Richard & Maria Cosway: Regency Artist of Taste &Fashion'
1995 Aug 11-Oct 29, Edinburg, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 'Richard and Maria Cosway: Regency Artist of a Taste and Fashion'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Sotheby's Sale 15th May 1947, lot 61.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number