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Heliotrope salver with a tall foot
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Heliotrope salver with a tall foot

Ca. 1600. Enamel, Bloodstone, Gold Room 079B

Vessel made up of five pieces of heliotrope joined by five mounts. The body consists of an oval dish whose profile is an almost flat arch with a flange beneath the base. On the upper face is an indentation for holding an object. Inserted with a crosspiece is an enamelled gold structure with a design of pointed leaves, which joins it to the beginning of the stem, formed by two knops and a pyriform central piece assembled with two small mounts of leaves enamelled in white with black dots in decreasing size. A similar but larger mount joins it to the oval foot with denticulated bevel and support, decorated with an enamelled moulding.

The gold mounts, especially those on the base, are enamelled with designs in the style known as cosses de pois, or "pea pods", characteristic of late Mannerism. These are very subtle compositions based on small black marks rather like points and commas, derived from drawings of the pointed leaves published by Baltasar Lemercier in 1625, although the idea of sprinkling black dots over the white surface may come from the designs of Gilles L´Égaré for application on smooth enamel surfaces. This feature is appreciated more clearly on various other pieces in the Dauphin’s Treasure, such as O9, O10, and nos. 89 and 104 in Arbeteta’s catalogue, which were stolen in 1918. The same very common decorative pattern appears on several pieces in the Louvre, including the so-called Mirror of Maria de’Medici, MR 252.

Mentioned in the 1746 inventory of La Granja de San Ildefonso as a salvilla or salver, this is one of the few objects worthy of the name in the strictest sense, since the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language states that a salvilla should have a holder for the glass served on it.

The state of the work in the 19th century can be seen through the photography of Juan Laurent y Minier, "Coupe ovale jaspe sanguin transparent et serpentine commune, montures d’or et émail, XVIe siècle, règne de Charles IX", c. 1879, Museo del Prado, HF0835/19 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
Heliotrope salver with a tall foot
Ca. 1600 (Salver); 1600 - 1630 (Mounting)
Enamelled; Carved
Enamel; Bloodstone; Gold
Height: 13 cm.; Width: 19 cm.; Base/bottom: 14.2 cm.; Weight: 316 g.; Ancho base: 6.6 cm.; Bottom of the base: 5 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 35.

Arbeteta Mira, Letizia, El tesoro del Delfín: alhajas de Felipe V recibidas por herencia de su padre Luis, Gran Delfín de Francia, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 271.

Arbeteta, L. Azcue, L., El Tesoro del Delfín, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2018, 2018.

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 13.
Vaso en forma de platillo aobado

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 21-02-2020 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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