A salt, or saltcellar, is a small shallow bowl for holding table salt. Although widely available, salt was once considered a precious commodity because the methods of extraction and refining were laborious and costly. Packed into molds, salt was stored until it dried and was broken down for use in the kitchen or at the table. From the fourteenth century, salt was presented in a grand and expensive vessel. During the seventeenth century, individual salts began to emerge and, with the development of individual place settings, they became an indispensable part of dining. A well-set table had one within the reach of every guest.