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Image of Salt Cellar

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Unknown Artist

Salt Cellar


3 in. x 2 1/2 in. x 2 in. (7.62 cm x 6.35 cm x 5.08 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2000.7.2.a-b
Other Number(s): SC.30.a-b (Previous No.)
Geography: Europe, England, London
Classification: Tools and Equipment; Food Processing, Preparation, & Service; Food Service
Culture/Nationality: English
Collection: Deanery Collection
This silver salt cellar was one of over 60 owned by M. Carey Thomas, several of which were by 18th and 19th century London silversmiths such as Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942). The inventory of the Deanery performed in 1917 has over three pages dedicated to salt cellars in numerous shapes, including hearts, birds, flowers, cats, boats, and sea horses. Some of the salts were enameled with elaborate floral designs; this one has a cobalt blue glass liner within an oval stand, decorated with incised garlands and medallions.

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This object has the following keywords:
  • British - Refers to the culture of the modern nation of the United Kingdom. It also refers to the cultures of historical nations that had Great Britain as the central ruling power. For the culture of the ancient Britons, who were those tribes that spoke the Celtic (Brythonic) language, use "Ancient British."
  • saltcellars - Small, low, open vessels used to hold salt at the table; made in a variety of forms and may have a flat base or rest on legs or a stemmed foot. For tall vessels used to hold salt, use "standing salts."
  • silver - Pure metallic element having symbol Ag and atomic number 47; a malleable, ductile, white metal with characteristic sheen, considered a precious metal. Silver is widely distributed throughout the world, occurring rarely as metallic silver (in Peru, Norway) but more often as silver-gold alloys and silver ore. Today silver is obtained as a byproduct in the refinement of gold, lead, copper, or zinc ores. Silver was smelted from the ore galena as early as 3800 BCE. As a pure metal, silver is second to gold in malleability and ductility, can be polished to a highly reflective surface, and used -- typically in an alloy -- in jewelry, coinage, photography, mirrors, electrical contacts, and tableware.

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Additional Image 2000.7.2.a-b_BMC_f.jpg

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Salt Cellar |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=8/17/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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