Altar Cruet Set
Cruets are small, flat-bottomed containers with a narrow neck and spout. Although they are commonly utilized in the kitchen today to hold liquids such as oil and vinegar, the earliest uses of the cruet were ecclesiastical in nature. Altar cruets are still used in contemporary religious ceremonies, particularly Christian Mass. Cruets created for this intention always come in pairs; with one vessel designated to hold holy water (often marked “A” for Aqua), and one vessel designated to contain wine (often marked “V” for Vinum). These two liquids will often be mixed together at key points of the ceremony, including the sacrament. Cruets made for religious purposes are commonly constructed of glass or crystal and accompanied by precious metal finishes as exemplified in this altar cruet set. Both vessels in this set feature a finely shaped lid topped with a delicate cross. The handle present on each object depicts a large, winged figure. This altar cruet set comes with its original tray, complete with docking areas for both vessels, and beautiful floral engravings.
At this time in France, the lithographic poster surfaced as an important visual element of the Belle Époque. Although initially used to market commercial products and theatrical entertainment, the poster transformed into a collectable and affordable art form. The large format of posters allowed designers to make a commanding public presentation and illustrator’s names were popularly recognized. Among the most recognizable names was Jules Chéret (1836–1932), the man who organized the first group exhibition of posters in 1884 and published the first book on poster art two years later.