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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

21: Hexagonal salt with circular depressions at top and bottom

This salt’s small size and limited capacity may mean that it was for a lone diner. However, it more likely reflects the fact that salt was consumed in small quantities. Many salts were designed to prompt conversation or cause amusement. The sides of this hexagonal salt are decorated with small boys (putti) in various poses and with diverse objects. It also has two ‘hidden’ portraits: an ideal woman in the hollow on top, revealed only when the salt was finished, and a warrior in the hollow underneath, discovered only if a curious diner happened to turn the salt upside down.

Workshop of Pierre Reymond (c.1513 – after 1584) Limoges, France, c.1540 – 45

Enamelled copper

Given by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum (M.4-1966)

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