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Dish from the Isabella d'Este Service: EC.30-1938

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Object information


Dish from the Isabella d'Este Service


Nicola di Gabriele Sbraghe da Urbino (Painter)


Maiolica dish, painted in polychrome with, in the well, the arms of Gonzaga impaling Este, and, on the rim, Peleus and Thetis.

Earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale beige and speckled. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, stone, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white. Shape 56 (Poole 1995). circular with broad, almost flat rim, and deep well; the underside of the rim moulded with three bands of reeding.In the well, within narrow blue and yellow concentric circles, two putti support a shield charged with the arms of Gonzaga impaling Este: argent, a cross patty gules cantoned by four eagles displayed sable (Gonzaga modern granted 1433), an escutcheon overall, quarterly, 1, 4, gules a lion rampant argent (Bohemia), 2, 3, barry of six or and sable (Gonzaga ancient) impaling Este, quarterly, 1, 4, azure three fleurs-de-lis or a bordure indented gules, 2, 3, azure an eagle displayed argent (gules shown orange throughout). Below on a scroll is the impresa `XXVII'. The sides are decorated in bianco sopra bianco with palmettes and scrolls, and a blue line encircles the shoulder. The rim is decorated with Peleus and Thetis. Peleus stands beneath a tree, gazing at Thetis, who sleeps nude on the ground in front of him. Further to the right she is transformed into a swan-like bird as he embraces her, and then into a dragon from which he turns away in horror. Higher up on the right, a goddess appears to Peleus who kneels before an altar. In the distance there is a mountainous landscape and sky. Suspended from the tree there is a shield of testa di cavallo form charged with the impresa of gold rods in a crucible surrounded by flames in a blue ground. The edge is yellow. On the back there is a narrow yellow band round the base and a wider band on the edge.


History note: A member of the Rothschild family, Paris; Charles Damiron, Lyon; Sotheby's, 16 June 1938, Catalogue of the very choice collection of old Italian maiolica and Hispano-Moresque ware the property of Monsieur Damiron, 8 vue Vaubecour, Lyons, p. 63, lot 63.

Legal notes

Purchased with the Glaisher fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 3.9 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Urbino ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1938) by Sotheby's


16th century
Circa 1524 CE - 1525 CE


The figures were derived from a woodcut illustration in Giovanni dei Bonsignori's Ovidio methamorphoseos vulgare, Venice (Giovanni Rosso da Vercelli for Lucantonio Giunta), 1497 or a later edition.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( metallic oxide colours) Rim Diameter 30.2 cm

Materials used in production

Tin-glaze Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale beige and speckled. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, stone, brown, manganese-purple, black, and white high-temperature (metallic oxide) colours
Tin-glazing Turning

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Rectangular with cut corners, printed in black `UNION/CENTRALE' and inscribed in faded black ink with `155/3657' between the two words

  • Text: 'UNION/1555/3657/CENTRALE'
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Printed in black and inscribed in faded black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: EC.30-1938
Primary reference Number: 47188
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 11 October 2021 Last processed: Monday 11 October 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Dish from the Isabella d'Este Service" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-07-07 03:42:24

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