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Salt: C.228-1991

An image of Salt

Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Unidentified Urbino potter (Maker)


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

Relative size of this object

27.2 cm20 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Urbino ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


Third quarter of 16th century
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

Tin-glaze Earthenware

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: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Saturday 22 May 2021

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 (2022) "Salt" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-10 01:07:02

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{{cite web|url= |title=Salt |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-08-10 01:07:02|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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