Fork at top left with end of handle formed by female bust; an extended volute forms length of handle which connects to a satyr whose legs tranform into two fork tines. Spoon at top right has handle formed by satyr-herm whose lower half extends to connect to bowl of spoon with two opposing scrolls and a mask. Design for saltcellar and egg dish in center; figures of Leda and the swan at top of vessel upon a raised rectangular plinth; relief panel with two swans on front side of plinth; lower part of vessel is six-sided with round well for holding an egg on each end and projecting seashell to hold salt in center front; front panel displays figure of Venus reclining on the sea with one elbow resting on a dolphin and other hand holding reigns of two dolphins, ornamental curtain above the scene; dolphin heads on lower corners form the feet; guilloche ornament borders the lower edge; oval reserves with figures on angled sides. Plan of vessel at bottom, inscription located within the rectangle framing for the raised plinth and between the seashell shapes for the salt and round shapes for the eggs.
A Novel Way to Eat Your Eggs
Poached, fried, boiled, or roasted, eggs were an important part of the Italian Renaissance diet. In the sixteenth century, Italian chefs Bartolomeo Scappi and Cristoforo da Messisbugo each published cookbooks that detailed recipes and techniques for preparing banquets, and eggs were often on the menu. One of Scappi’s reoccurring recipes was for uovo da bere, or...
A ship-shaped bowl, supported by two mermaids, is surmounted upon a base representing the sea. The bowl is flanked by two high columns with mermaid finials connected to each other by a pole entwined with ribbon. Traces of framing lines are visible at the edges of the sketch.
An Ornate Boat with a Mysterious Purpose
As the artist for the ducal court at Mantua in the early sixteenth century, Giulio Romano designed everything from architecture and stage sets to fresco programs and metalwork. But the purpose of this drawing remains a mystery. It features a vessel in the shape of a ship, supported by two mermaids, who rise up from...