Elephant with Saltcellar

ca. 1550; 4th quarter 15th c. (elephant); 14/15th c. (saltcellar), Artist: Francisco Lopez , (Goldschmied)



Elephant with Saltcellar

Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal and sister of Charles V, acquired the small Indian-made elephant in 1550 and had it combined with an older saltcellar in Lisbon. Parts of varying origin were thus united in an unusual piece of tableware according to contemporary taste. The elephant is among the earliest documented and preserved objects of exotica acquired by the house of Habsburg.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer Wien Raum XXV

Object data

Object Name

Vessel; Salt Cellar


Lisbon; Deccan plateau (India)


ca. 1550; 4th quarter 15th c. (elephant); 14/15th c. (saltcellar)



Rock crystal, hyacinth, gold, enamel


H. 7,3 cm, L. 9,4 cm, B. 4,9 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer

Inv. No.

Kunstkammer, 2320

Kunst & Patenschaft

This object is still without a Art Patron. Accept the patronage and make sure that this cultural treasure is preserved for future generations.
Your donation is a direct and sustainable contribution to the scientific documentation, research, restoration, and presentation of the artworks of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

Become an art patron