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Bell salt

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The salt rests on three ball feet and is composed of three separate sections. The middle and lower sections are spool-shaped; each is fitted with a well for salt at the top. The sides are decorated with strapwork and geometric ornament against a matted ground. The lower borders are chased with...

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On side of middle section, pounced, DCP


On side of lower and middle sections, date letter P; lion passant; leopard's head crowned; maker's mark HM conjoined a mullet and two pellets below and a pellet above in a shaped shield (Jackson, 1921, p. 113; rev. ed. 1989, p. 106) (repeated on inside cover)


Davies Gilbert, Trelissick [see note 1]; William Bruford & Sons, Exeter; By 1925, with William E. Godfrey, New York; June 20, 1925, sold by William E. Godfrey to Frank Brewer Bemis [see note 2]; 1935, gift of Frank Brewer Bemis to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 7, 1935) Notes: [1] This provenance has not been verified and is based on Mr. Brewer's documentation in the MFA curatorial file. According to Brewer's description, the bell salt was in the Gilbert family for generations and kept at their Cornish Estate, Trelissick. [2] See original receipt in MFA curatorial files.

Credit Line

Bequest of Frank Brewer Bemis

English, 1614–15

Object Place

London, England


H. 21.6 cm (8 1/2 in.); W. 10.1 cm (4 in.); Weight 260.5 gm (8 oz 7 dwt)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silver gilt