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A salver, which is the second of its kind identified in the world, is discovered in Cuban Museum

Published: 2017.05.15 - 17:36:39   /  /  Miguel Darío García Porto  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

A salver, which is the second of its kind identified in the world, is discovered in Cuban MuseumAmongst the collection of Catalan glass and crystals of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Havana, a salver, which could cost two million euros and is the second of its kind that has been identified in the world, was recently discovered.

"This piece is a glass salver," says the museologist Lidis Nuvia Rodríguez, "it is a perfectly flat dish with a conical trunk base and this type of piece was used a lot in the XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries, mainly to place the bottles of wine and glasses on it, that is, the idea was to place all the elements of the dishes, glasses of wine and bottles on a table so that they could be observed from any place and could be taken.

The specialist also comments that in case that the salver could not be placed on the table, a servant carried it and the diners took what was necessary.

According to Rodríguez, the piece is a slightly golden color with a Renaissance decoration; it has been in the collection of the Cuban museum in the last 48 years, but it is only now that they could identify its typology and origin.

"The salver is made of blown glass, engraved on a diamond tip, a very difficult technique, since it does not allow correction. You can see the great skill of the engraver on it because that work is done on a flat surface," says the expert.

Lidis Nuvia also emphasizes as particular value of the work that is engraved underneath and is a display of all the Renaissance decoration, with a base of faucets and floral elements; the circles in the upper part are evidently made as a pattern that allows the artist to make this decoration with a level of detail and precision.

"Small pieces are known as cups and glasses in which the engraver could only afford to make some flowers or birds and could not make a display of this decoration on a flat surface. This is until now one of the only two pieces that are known in the world with this type of engraving," says the specialist.

In an exhaustive search it was known of the existence of a similar piece that forms part of a private collection in England, and it has the signature with the date and place where the engraving was made. According to accredited sources, the work has been valued at two million euros.

Salvers like the one recently identified in the Museum of Decorative Arts were done in the XVI century in the town of Mataró, which is about 40 kilometers north of Barcelona.

"The piece belonged to the Sarrá family and has been part of the collection of our institution since 1969’’, points out the researcher.

This year we were involved in cataloging work on this collection of Catalan glasses and for this Jaime Barrachina Navarro, an expert in glass and crystals and director of the Castell de Peralada Museum in Spain, came to our country; during this process of cataloging he perceived the presence of this important piece in our collection dating from the sixteenth century.

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