Salt. Provenance: China. Dating: Kangxi period (1662-1722). Salt of circular and square waisted form on a open base. The inside glazed, the lower square part tapering to the waist, the spreading top with a recessed centre, the rim extending downwards. Decorated in underglaze blue. The circular concave top moulded and decorated with a chain-pattern around a central flower-head, round the neck a border of lotus leaves and on the sides panels filled with flowering plants and leaves. Modelled after a European pewter or earthenware salt, the material and the Chinese style decoration made this salt an exotic object that was prominently placed on a richly laid table. At this time salts were ordered separately, and only much later as part of a dinner service. With many Christian connotations, salt was an important seasoning at dinner before the 19th century and salts were larger and more elaborate than they are today. (sources: The Choice of the Private Trader. The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain illustrated from the Hodroff Collection. (D.S. Howard, London, 1994) and, Famille Verte, Chinese Porcelain in Green Enamels, (C.J.A. Jörg, Schoten, 2011), Dimensions: Height: 52 mm (2.05 inch), Diameter top: 52 mm (2.04 inch), Diameter foot: 68 mm (2.68 inch). Condition: Minor glaze fritting to the rim.