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This silver salt shaker, in the shape of a boy pushing a sled, is actually a miniature sculpture. It evokes admiration for the precision of the 19th century artist from Frankfurt, who, in the microscopic scale of a few centimeters, was able to develop numerous, intricate details and decorations.

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This silver salt shaker, in the shape of a boy pushing a sled, is actually a miniature sculpture. It evokes admiration for the precision of the 19th century artist from Frankfurt, who, in the microscopic scale of a few centimeters, was able to develop numerous, intricate details and decorations. The skating boy pushes a fancy sled which is the proper salt container. The runners of the sled connect with each other at the front and at the height of the upper edge of the bowl, in a decoratively curled up way and then transform into the shape of an eagle head with an open beak. The boy in the Renaissance outfit is dressed in a characteristic jacket called “wams” up to his hip, with sleeves with a spherical, cut head. The wams in the waist was tied with a sash hanging from the left side. The outfit is complemented by a beret decorated with a feather. The boy with the sledge is standing on an oval base with an openwork pedestal, decorated by stylized dolphins and oval cabochons, that are supposed to imitate expensive stones.
The fashion for such decorative elements, so-called trumpery, was  especially strong in the 19th century. At that time, people eagerly took after the styles of past eras. The taste for the Gothic gave way to the forms drawn from the art of the Renaissance or Rococo. In works in which sculptural decoration played such an important role, such as the presented boy, the creators did not restrict their freedom to one era, but introduced motifs of various origins. As a result, a boy in a clearly Art Nouveau costume, performs on a pedestal decorated with Renaissance motifs, but rococo ornaments (rocaille) appear near the sled. The performances of the virtuosity of the 19th century sculptors and craftsmen, cooperating in goldsmith workshops, led to the overloading of eclectic works with decorations over time.

Elaborated by Klementyna Ochniak-Dudek (Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka), © all rights reserved

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The collection of salt shakers from Wieliczka

The Kraków Salt Works Museum has been continuously extending its collection of salt shakers from different eras and continents; currently, it has several hundred items. On our website, we present six of them, distinguished by their intricate decorations, as well as the place and time of their creation...

 

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The Kraków Salt Works Museum has been continuously extending its collection of salt shakers from different eras and continents; currently, it has several hundred items. On our website, we present six of them, distinguished by their intricate decorations, as well as the place and time of their creation:

The impressive, richly decorated salt pots, in the past belonged to the most important household utensils. They testified to the wealth of the owners. The place where the salt shaker was placed on the table during opulent feasts was strictly regulated by court ceremony. The importance and high rank of this representative container was evidenced by its impressive appearance, remaining in disproportion to the small amount of salt which it contained. Salt shakers took on yet more new shapes in the Gothic era: an hourglass, a wide container on a foot, a cylindrical casket and — at the end of the 16th century — a bell. A well-known salt shaker — made by B. Cellini on the orders of the French king Francis — had all features of sculpture. Apart from such precious models, salt shakers used every day, which prevailed at the beginning of the 17th century, became more conspicuous.


Elaborated by Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka, Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Silver salt cellar with a figure of a boy pushing the sled

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