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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

2: Matthew Parker’s standing salt and cover

Salt-cellars came in all shapes and sizes, and wealthy individuals and establishments often owned several large examples in silver.

Cylinder salts like this one were the height of fashion on English tables from c.1550, and remained popular for the next 150 years. This exquisite early example is a masterpiece of Mannerist art with decoration composed of unfurling ribbon-like ‘strapwork’, fruit and gourds. It is unusual because it also contains a pepper-pot: the shallow salt-dish at the top of the hollow drum is covered over by a push-fit lid, whose upper part functions as a pepper- pot. Attributed to Robert Danbe, London, England, 1562

Silver gilt

The Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

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