These elaborate saltcellars, one decorated with salamanders, the emblem of the French king François I (r. 1515-47), and the other with three interlaced crescents, the insignia of Henri II (r. 1537-59), are rare examples of the extremely fine, complex ceramics produced during the mid-sixteenth century in France, perhaps at Saint-Porchaire, a town in the southwest, or in Paris. Fewer than seventy known examples of Saint-Porchaire ware survive.
Pair of Saltcellars
St. Porchaire, France, ca. 1540-1560
Lead-glazed earthenware, inlaid with slip.
AZ037.1: 5 3/4 x 3 3/8 inches (145 x 85 mm); AZ037.2: 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches (140 x 95 mm); "Salamander": height: 5 1/2 inches (140 mm); "Three Crescents": height: 5 inches (127 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1906.
AZ037.1: M. Lazare, Marseilles, 1850; Mr. George Field, London, 1893; M. Charles Stein, Paris, 1899; M.J.H. Fitzhenry, Paris, 1910; from whom purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan. AZ037.2: M.P. Jamarin, Paris, 1900; Wencke, Hamburg; purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan through Jacques Seligmann & Co., 1906.