Painted enamel saltcellar

Pierre Reymond (1513–after 1584)
Limoges, ca. 1545
Enamel on copper, parcel-gilt
H. 2 13/16 (7.1 cm); diam. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm)
Marks (underside): P.R.
Gift of Alexis Gregory, 2021
Photo Joseph Coscia Jr.



The body of this saltcellar depicts two scenes: Venus seated on a chariot drawn by four doves and four figures standing near a column. The first image derives from a Marcantonio Raimondi (ca. 1480–1534) engraving made after a design by Raphael that illustrates episodes from the first book of Virgil’s Aeneid. The second one may illustrate the episode in the same book in which Dido, the Queen of Carthage, receives Aeneas. On the neck is a French inscription painted in gold—1545 PRENE EN GRE (Accept this willingly)—which likely refers to a poem from the Cent Ballades (Hundred Ballads) written by Christine de Pisan (1364–ca. 1430). A male portrait in the antique style is in the receptacle.

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