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    Cellini salt cellar | Jewellery | World Gold Council

  • Carina Case

    Benvenuto Cellini created this spectacular salt cellar in Paris, working to a commission from Francois 1 of France. This is universally regarded as one of the greatest of all Renaissance artefacts, a triumph of the imagination wrought in gold. It is Cellini’s only fully authenticated work in the metal.Despite its extravagance, this was an item intended for practical use. Salt had been a highly prized commodity since Ancient Rome where soldiers had been paid in salt (the origin of today’s term “salary”). Cellini’s masterpiece celebrates salt’s scarcity as well as the magnificence of its owner and the talent of its creator, though perhaps his priorities are debatable.The fame of this object multiplied further in 2003 when a thief, no doubt tempted by its contemporary valuation of $50 million, stole the salt cellar from a display case in Vienna’s Kunsthistorische Museum. Happily, investigators retrieved the piece three years later.

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    Reading your pins is more interesting than the pins themselves!! Thanks so much!

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