A silver-gilt salver on later base, Spanish or Portuguese, mid-16th century
Then by descent to a European princely family
Exposição Retrospectiva de Arte Ornamental Portugueza e Hespanhola, Lisbon, 1882, SALA F (Sala de Sua Majestade El- Rei o Senhor D. Fernando II e da Exellentissima Senhora Condessa d´Edla), no. 125, as `Salva de prata dourada, ornada de figuras, medalhões e outros ornatos em relevo. Ne centro um escudo com um castello cereado do estrellas. Tem a data 1548'
The male and female busts looking at each other across the date 1548, appear to be stylised representations of the emperor Charles V and his wife Isabella of Portugal. The female bust resembles the posthumous portrait of Isabella painted by Titian in Augburg in 1548 (Prado). It was executed in conjunction with a portrait of Charles V of the same year, when the emperor attended the Diet of Ausburg after decisively defeating the protestant Schmalkandic league at the Battle of Mülberg. This led to the Augsburg Interim in 1548 which although concessionary reflected the emperor's victory with an affirmation of Catholicism.
The arms are those of a bishop Salazar , probably for Domingo de Salazar (La Bastida 1512-Madrid 1594) a Dominican who spent much of his life in Mexico and Florida, becoming in 1581 first bishop of the Philippines, a colony of Spain. Between missions he was sent to Madrid where he came to the notice of Philipp II, who proposed his appointment. The journey to Manilla was arduous, only one of the twenty monks who started the journey with him survived. He made the return trip to Spain at the age of 80 to plead the cause of the Philippine population with Phillip II, in which he had success. He was appointed archbishop but died in Madrid before the Bull of appointement had been received.
The salver, which would probably have had a more U-shaped rim and a simple low wire foot, has been converted into a tazza with the addition of a detachable high stemmed base. This adaption was evidently fashionable in the 18th Century. A number of salvers which had belonged to the Portugese crown from the second half of the 18th Century as well as similar items which came from Dom Fernando and then became the property of the Portuguese crown have been adapted in a similar way. These adaptions are considered to be 18th Century. Two such pieces have Lisbon marks on the adapted sections datable to between the end of the 17th Century and 17501.
1 See: Maria do Rosário and Inês Líbano Monteiro, A prata do solene aparato da coroa portuguesa...Revista de Artes Decorativas, Porto, 2010, p. 19. The mark of the Lisbon silversmith Antonio Martins de Almeida is recorded on two adapted salvers. And Fernando Moitinho de Almeida, Marcas de Pratas Portuguesas e Brazileira, Lisbon, 1995, p. 98. Moitinho records that the mark of the silversmith Antonio Martins de Almeida is found on adaptions to the feet of two salvers, one of which adaptation is dated 1726.