Antique George II Silver Trencher Salt


Stock: 9140

Date: 1729

Maker: Louys Cuny

Country: England

A large and imposing antique sterling silver salt of circular form and standing on a raised pedestal foot. Extremely heavy...

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A large and imposing antique sterling silver salt of circular form and standing on a raised pedestal foot. Extremely heavy weight. Applied cut card decoration. To the centre is a hand engraved armorial within a decorative cartouche with a motto below, on the front is a crest. Weight 229 grams, 7.3 troy ounces. Height 5.5 cm. Diameter 9 cm. London 1729. Maker Louys Cuny, a good Huguenot maker.

Literature: The use of salt cellars is documented as early as classical Rome. During medieval times elaborate master salt cellars evolved which had not only a practical use but above all, a ceremonial importance, indicating the relative status of persons by their position at the table in relation to the large salt.

By 1600 the trencher salt was in use in England however these earliest examples are extremely rare and probably you won’t find a pair of trencher salts before 1690. These salts had no feet and were made in a wide range of shapes: round, oval rectangular, triangular or octagonal. The early trencher salts were often marked inside the bowl and are often badly worn through use and cleaning.
During the late 1730s the more traditional circular salt standing on 3 legs had mainly replaced the trencher salt. This shape remained popular until the late 18th century when the advent of the Industrial Revolution rendered both salt and salt cellars commonplace. From this time onwards silver salts were produced in a variety of forms, some with blue glass liners, and had become commonplace on the English dining table.
Salt shakers began to appear in the Victorian era, however there were problems with salt clumping. It was not until after 1911, when anti-caking agents began to be added to table salt, that salt shakers gained favour and open salts began to fall into disuse.


This chunky antique silver salt is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Good colour. Stamped underneath with a full set of English silver hallmarks, makers mark double struck. Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.

Maker Information

Maker: Louys Cuny

Louys Cuny, Hugeunot immigrant, endenizened (naturalised) 8th May 1697, same day as Peter and Claudius Platel and John Chartier. Free 1703. First mark entered 1703. Second mark (sterling), unrecorded, circa 1720. Elected to the livery 1708. His son Samuel was apprenticed to him in 1710 and turned over to Daniel Shaw, free 1724 but did not enter a mark. Louys Cuny died 1733. There are many different spellings of his name – Louis, Lewis, Cugny, de Cuney…

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