Painted enamel saltcellar

Circle of Pierre Reymond (1513–after 1584)
Limoges, mid-16th century
Enamel on copper, parcel-gilt
H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); diam. 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm)
Gift of Alexis Gregory, 2021
Photo Joseph Coscia Jr.


The main scene on the foot of this saltcellar in baluster form is from the story of Lot (Genesis 19:1–38). After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his daughters find shelter in a cave in the mountains. During two consecutive nights, his daughters inebriate him and violate him without his knowledge in order to preserve their family line. The receptacle depicts a bearded man in profile crowned with laurels against a dark background with gold dots, and the rim is composed of leonine masks and fruit bouquets in strapwork. The main composition is derived from woodcuts by Bernard Salomon (ca. 1508 or 1510–ca. 1561) published in Les Quadrins historiques de la Bible from 1553.

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