Cellini Salt Cellar

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The Cellini Salt Cellar is a part-enamelled gold table sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini. It was completed in 1543 for Francis I of France, from models that had been prepared many years earlier for Cardinal Ippolito d'Este.

The cellar is the only remaining work of precious metal which can be reliably attributed to Cellini. It was created in the Mannerist style of the late Renaissance and allegorically portrays Terra e Mare . In Cellini's description, the sea was represented by a male figure reclining beside a ship for holding the salt; the earth he "fashioned like a woman" and placed a temple near her to serve as a receptacle for pepper. The salt cellar is made of ivory, rolled gold, and vitreous enamel. The gold is not cast in a mould but hammered by hand into its delicate shape. It stands about 26 cm tall. The base is about 33.5 cm wide and features bearings to roll it around.


Copyright: Creative Commons 3.0

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