An Indo-Portuguese gold and gem-set mounted rock crystal covered salt, 17th Century.

The gold and gem-mounted base and lid are of solid triangular blocks of rock crystal hollowed out; the whole raised on scrolling feet and with a double pyramidal finial.

It is set at each angle with cabochon rubies and sapphires and the finial is surmounted with a pointed sapphire, 18cm high.

The salt appears in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, an inventory listing an enormous bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).

Appearing under the heading ‘Christalls Garnisht and plaine’ is: ‘A Christall Salt & Cover Garnisht with Gold, Rubies and Emrods and with a pointed Saphir on the Top of the Cover’.


Related collections