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Statuette - Crab with shells

Crab with shells

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1745 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sprimont, Nicholas (designed by)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bronze was probably cast directly from a real crab. The body was covered in clay and fired in a kiln. It was completely burnt in the process, leaving space in the clay mould for liquid bronze to be poured in and allowed to cool, providing an exact replica of the crab. It is thought to date from the nineteenth century and to be based on the design by Nicholas Sprimont for a pair of salt cellars in the Royal Collection, made for Frederick, Prince of Wales in 1742-3.

Physical description

Crab with shells, bronze. The composition which is probably cast from nature shows a crab on a roughly oval base studded with shells and wood, before it is a large shell on to which it holds with its left pincer and two right forelegs. The right pincer which was originally presumably helf up has been broken off. The crab is a common shore crab frequent in European waters and the Adriatic and the shells are also European varieties.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1745 (made)


Sprimont, Nicholas (designed by)

Materials and Techniques



Length: 16.5 cm, Depth: 10 cm, Height: 6 cm

Object history note

Purchased for £45 from Mr F Hughes, 9 Alfred Road, Sutton, Surrey. Webb Bequest

Historical context note

The composition is almost identical with that of a silver salt in the Royal Collections at Windsor, made for Frederick Prince of Wales, by Nicholas Sprimont, dated 1742-3.

Descriptive line

Salt cellar in the form of a Crab with Shells, bronze, probably after a design by Nicholas Sprimont (1716-1771), English, ca. 1745

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

cf. Jones, Alfred. The Gold and Silver of Windsor Castle. 1911. p.98, pl. 50.
cf. Van Binnebeke, Emile. Bronze Sculpture: Sculpture from 1500-1800 in the Collection of the Boymans- van Beuningen Museum. Rotterdam. 1994. pp.58-61. cat. no. 8.





Subjects depicted

Crab; Shells




Sculpture Collection

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