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Silver gilt salt

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Description

Unmarked cast silver salt with fire gilding , ca 1780-1820. Probably Italian .

Measurements : Height : 13.2 cm

weight : 569.9 grams

Triton (/ˈtraɪtən/; Greek: Τρίτων Tritōn) is a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the sea. He is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, god and goddess of the sea respectively, and is herald for his father. He is usually represented as a merman which has the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish, “sea-hued”, according to Ovid[1] “his shoulders barnacled with sea-shells”.

Like his father, Poseidon, he carried a trident. However, Triton’s special attribute was a twisted conch shell, on which he blew like a trumpet to calm or raise the waves. Its sound was such a cacophony, that when loudly blown, it put the giants to flight, who imagined it to be the roar of a dark wild beast.[2]

According to Hesiod’s Theogony,[3] Triton dwelt with his parents in a golden palace in the depths of the sea; Homer places his seat in the waters off Aegae (presumably Aegae, Achaea, where Poseidon had his palace).[4][5] The story of the Argonauts places his home on the coast of Libya. When the Argo was driven ashore in the Gulf of Syrtes Minor, the crew carried the vessel to the “Tritonian Lake”, Lake Tritonis, whence Triton, the local deity euhemeristically rationalized by Diodorus Siculus as “then ruler over Libya”,[6] welcomed them with a guest-gift of a clod of earth and guided them through the lake’s marshy outlet back to the Mediterranean.[7] When the Argonauts were lost in the desert, he guided them to find the passage from the river back to the sea.

Triton was the father of Pallas and foster parent to the goddess Athena.[8] Pallas was killed by Athena accidentally during a sparring fight between the two goddesses.[9] Triton can sometimes be multiplied into a host of Tritones, daimones of the sea.

In the Virgil’s Aeneid, book 6, it is told that Triton killed Misenus, son of Aeolus, by drowning him after he challenged the gods to play as well as he did.[10]

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