Bell salts seemed to become fashionable in the 1550s.

This salt has three sections, the lower one on three ball feet, and the upper one functions as a pepper caster. It is chased with strapwork and foliate decoration and bears the maker's mark IB below a horseshoe. Salts were of the highest symbolic importance on the English medieval table and were widespread by the 16th century.


J Dunn-Gardner; Christie's, 1902; Sir Ernest Cassel; then by descent.

Ashmolean Museum

Beaumont Street, OXFORD, Oxfordshire, OX1 2PH
01865 278000

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Daily, 10am – 5pm Until 8pm on the last Friday of every month

Exhibitions at Ashmolean Museum

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