Some experts think that the main figure on the salt cellar may be based on a portrait of the Portuguese nobleman Afonso de Albuquerque (AD 1460 – 1515). Albuquerque played the leading role in creating the Portuguese trading empire in the Middle East, Indian Ocean and beyond in the East Indies and China. In 1510, he captured the city of Goa in southern India and turned it into the hub of Portuguese activities in the region. Starting with another object from Benin, these objects provide examples of the spread of Portuguese trade and influence.
A bigger picture
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