A Bilston enamel Salt, South Staffordshire, circa 1780

An enamel salt cellar raised on three feet, painted with three bucolic scenes within raised gilt scroll cartouches and reserved on a pink ground.

The vignettes evoke something of the contemporary interest in both Neoclassicism and the picturesque landscape, especially with the appearance of the Pyramid of Cestius, whilst the gilt scrolls reflect a continued fondness for the Rococo taste.

During the second half of the 18th century, the Midlands, especially areas around South Staffordshire and Birmingham, were centres for the production of small, metalwork items such as this salt cellar.

Condition: There is damage and repairs to the three feet, so it does not sit entirely level; some fine cracks to the enamel and typical wear to the gilt metal rim. The painted scenes are in good order, as is the raised white enamel and gilt scrolls.

Dimensions: Diameter (at rim) 6 cm

English Painted Enamels, Therle and Bernard Hughes (Country Life, 1951).