Sapi Salt Cellar

Arte africana

Sierra Leone, Fifteenth/Sixteenth century

Ivory, 29 x 13cm

Inv. 2433

The Galleria Estense, Modena

This receptacle consists of an animal figure atop a rhombus-shaped box (which opens at its middle) supported in turn by arches, decorated with crocodiles and serpents, that emerge from a conical base. Such strikingly refined objects were made by African artisans in Sierra Leone and were distributedprimarily by Portuguese merchantsthroughout Europe.