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Salt: C.228-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unidentified Urbino potter


  • Salt
  • vessel converted into a salt



Renaissance maiolica salt, painted in poychrome with a nymph, masks, herms and female nudes.

Earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the base off-white. Painted in pale blue, dark blue, green, yellow, orange, black, and white. Hexagonal with tall concave sides and projecting top with an oval depression in the middle and grotesque male masks on the angles. Below the masks there are male and female caryatids each terminating in a leaf and a scroll. On the base scars have been left by the removal of three feet.
The depression for salt is decorated with a nymph holding a green drape behind her reserved in a blue ground enclosed by a yellow and orange border. The rest of the top is blue with darker blue petals radiating from the depression. The masks are yellow and orange with green hair; the moulding below, blue, yellow, and orange. The herms are pale orange-brown, the leaves green, and the scrolls pale and dark blue. Each side is decorated with a female nude holding a drape, reserved in a black ground.


History note: Bowring Hanbury, London; Knight, Frank & Rutley, 17 July 1934, Catalogue of porcelain, pictures, miniatures, silver, furniture, etc. removed from a West-End mansion, part of lot 18; H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

H.S. Reitlinger Bequest, 1950; transferred from the Reitlinger Trust, 1991

Measurements and weight

Height: 20.0 cm
Length: 27.2 cm
Width: 22.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Urbino ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1991-04-29) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


16th Century, third quarter#
Circa 1550 CE - 1560 CE


This object may not originally have been a salt.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( pale blue, dark blue, green, yellow, orange, black, and white)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the base off-white. Painted in pale blue, dark blue, green, yellow, orange, black, and white.

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.228-1991
Primary reference Number: 73308
Packing number: EURCER 387
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 13 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Salt" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-24 02:20:19

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{{cite web|url= |title=Salt |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-24 02:20:19|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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