Three compartment salt cellar
Soft porcelain – Sèvres blue mark at the back; mark of painter : g
Transition period, circa 1770
H. 3.5 in – D. 3.6 in
Three compartment basket shaped salt cellar, linked by basket-handle with gilt ribbons knotted on the top. White background decorated with nets and friezes (leaf gilding refurbishment)
This triple salt cellar model, known as à trois compartiments, was invented by the Manufacture de Sèvres at the end of 1760 (Svend Eriksen, Sèvres Porcelain, The James A. Of Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor, Fribourg, 1968)
During the 18th century, triple salt cellars were intended to contain table salt, cooking salt and pepper, or various spices (like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg). Several three compartment salt cellars were delivered by Sevres in 1775 for the Princesse des Asturies, but none reached us (*1)
Others are known, such the Manufacture de Sevres soft porcelain triple salt-cellar delivered in 1771 for Madame du Barry, today presented in the Musée de Sèvres; the soft porcelain salt cellar of the Musée Adrien Dubouché (Limoges), or the soft porcelain salt cellar of the Musée Gallé-Juillet (Creil). Only the top bow and the painted decoration vary.
Several pieces were delivered to Madame du Barry for the service bleu céleste aux rubans, still kept by the Chateau de Versailles today. Others appeared in the collection of the porcelains connoisseur Charles Otto Zieseniss ( 2 ) and in the Pompey collection – delivered in 1784 to Marie-Antoinette.
*1 – Dorothée Guillemé-Brulon, Le Service de la Princesse des Asturies, ou l’Histoire d’un cadeau royal pour la Cour de Madrid, éd. Massin, Paris, 2003, p. 74.
*2 – Christie’s Paris, vente 5-6 décembre 2001, lot 267.
Acknowledgments : Marc-Arthur Kohn