In terms of style and composition the two salt cellars offered here depicting the Labours of Hercules are virtually identical to a single cellar in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, which Verdier tentatively attributed to Léonard Limosin or his workshop and dated to the second quarter of the 16th century (op. cit., pp. 184-7, no. 111). In his entry for that cellar Verdier lists several other cellars that share abundant stylistic similarities, including the same portraits in the wells and, at least in the case of the Walters example, the same unusual decorative border of alternating purple and white roses.
The survival of these examples, which appear to originate from the same workshop but which are of varying quality and sometimes copying different sources, suggests that there was an ongoing demand for such cellars. In addition, the survival of other cellars attributed to Pierre Reymond's workshop (Baratte, op. cit., pp. 258-269), which depict the same scenes but from different sources, reinforces the idea that these were coveted possessions and that the workshops were in competition with each other to feed the demand.
Verdier rightly points out that without an identifying monogram the question of attribution for the Walters cellar, and by extension the present lot, is a difficult one. This is compounded by the fact that the present lot bears a number of stylistic similarities to both Limosin's and Reymond's output but is not sufficiently close to be firmly attributed to either. It is possible, therefore, that in the close-knit world of Limoges enamellers, the auther of the present cellars may have worked in both workshops.