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Double Salt (one of a pair)

A work made of gilt silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gilt silver.


c. 1794-1819


Martin-Guillaume Biennais (French, 1764-1843)
Probably designed after Charles Percier (French, 1764-1838) and
Pierre François Léonard Fontaine (French, 1762-1853)
Paris, France

About this artwork

This double salt is part of a vast service made for Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister Pauline on the occasion of her marriage to the Roman nobleman Camillo Borghese, Sixth Prince of Sulmona.

In the years after the French Revolution, architects and designers adopted the visual language of ancient Greece and Rome to express the new imperial order. Napoleon, hoping to promote Paris’s luxury trades, commissioned several silver dinner services as gifts to be sent abroad. The slender outlines and smooth surfaces of the vessels in the Borghese service contrast with the rich decoration.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Martin-Guillaume Biennais


Double Salt (one of a pair)


Paris (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Gilt silver


MARKS: “[lozenge with seated monkey and two pellets above B, maker’s mark] / [male head in circular punch flanked by 5 and 8, Paris excise mark 1798-1809],” on apron of circular rims holding salt dishes (both marks partially defaced), underside of plinth at proper left side, on outer surface of bottom of bowl (maker’s mark only), on upper body of outside of bowl (excise mark only); “[Roman fasces, Paris assay mark 1798-1809],” on outside edge and reverse of square plinth; “[ear form punch, Paris recense mark 1809-19],” on front lower edge of plinth; “[cock in vertical octagonal shield with 1 at lower right, Paris assay mark 1798-1809],” on underside of plinth at proper right and on upper body of outside of bowl; “[head of Apollo with 1 in oval shield, unofficial Paris assay mark 1794-97],” on outer surface of bottom of bowl (mark partially defaced) INSCRIPTIONS: “[Borghese armorials surmounted with Napoleonic Crown],” engraved on center of base; “1511 24 A [repairer’s number or inventory number],” scratched on outer surface of bottom of bowl


21.6 × 20.6 × 5.4 cm (8 1/2 × 8 1/8 × 2 1/8 in.); weight of each about 24 oz.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Charles V. Hickox

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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