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ID number:  BIRBI-49.3
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Title / Object name:  The Butleigh Salt
Object type:  Art object
Culture:  English
Date made:  1606/7
Materials:  Silver gilt
Measurements:  31.1 x 15.5 cm diameter at base
Provenance:  Purchased at Sotheby's, 10 February 1949, lot 146, £4,400

Named after its long association with Butleigh Court near Glastonbury, this elaborate salt cellar is among the finest examples of its kind to survive. It is designed in the shape of a small four-columned shrine and stands on feet cast in the form of 'chimerae', or winged monsters. Surmounting the columns is an ornamented entablature, in the centre of which is the salt bowl, supported by a column decorated with scales. At the top of the salt is a small round dome crowned with a finial. This consists of four dolphin scrolls with support a scallop shell, in the middle of which is a foot, perhaps that of Venus. The remainder of this figure is missing. The salt bears the maker's monogram 'MH London 1606/7'. In addition to the high quality of its workmanship, it is also of great rarity, being one of the very few architectural salts to survive from this period.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Maker's mark: M H [in monogram].

Notes:  Exhibited: 'Silver for Sir Anthony', Provincial Museum, Antwerp, Belgium, 15 May 1999 - 15 August 1999; 'Of Exceptional and Outstanding Merit: Treasures from the Barber Institute of Fine Arts', Wallace Collection, London, UK, 22 May 2013 - 01 September 2013

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