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Salt

1745-1770
Origin: England, Staffordshire
Overall: 1 3/16 x 2 11/16 x 2 11/16in. (3 x 6.8 x 6.8cm)
Stoneware, salt-glazed, white
Museum Purchase, Wesley and Elise H. Wright in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Hofheimer II and in honor of John C. Austin
Acc. No. 2007-26
Open circular bellied body supported on three short feet with lion mask junctures.
Label:Although sauces were an important feature of gentry dining in the eighteenth century, additional condiments were also offered at the table. Mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar were most prevalent, but oil, vinegar, and catsup—made of such ingredients as walnuts or mushrooms—were sometimes presented. Special containers were used for these foodstuffs in wealthier households. John Hepburn’s estate inventory of 1774 included “4 Stone Cruits 4 do Salts & 1 mustard pott.”41 Lidded cruets were intended to hold liquids, but the term seems to have been used in colonial America to imply both that form and its frequent companion, the caster, with a pierced top and cork-stoppered hole in the base. Instead of salt, casters contained sugar or pepper. Salt was presented at table in small open dishes, while prepared mustard was frequently served from a small covered pot.
Provenance:Jonathan Horne (Antiques) Ltd., London, England