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Caesar's Horse from a Triumph of Caesar: C.86-1927

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 6 (Upper Marlay): case 4, shelf A


Caesar's Horse from a Triumph of Caesar


Painter: Jacopo di Stefano Schiavone (Attributed to)
Pottery: Unidentified (Possibly)




Tin-glazed painted in polychrome with Caesar's Horse from a Triumph of Caesar.

Buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; on the reverse the glaze is off-white and has crawled in several places. Painted in dark blue, light blue, green, yellow, orange, and brownish-red. Shape approximately 67 but shallower. Circular with shallow, concave sides, which have warped in firing, standing on a solid base. Caesar's Horse, from a Triumph of Caesar. On the left are two nude musicians, with bells round their ankles, holding aloft, and blowing, double pipes. Behind them is a hound with bells on its collar, and a harness round its belly. Caesar's horse follows, its right foreleg raised; its harness and blanket with lettered border are bedecked with bells, and it has a unicorn's horn attached to its forehead. A youth holding a branch with a globe on its tip is mounted on its back and a monkey sits behind him. In the foreground there is a stony track and grass, and an 'H'. The background is dark blue and the rim yellow. The back is dated in the middle in blue, '1514' over the alchemical sign for tin, within three narrow concentric circles. Beyond the base there are three narrow, one broad and three narrow concentric circles, repeated nearer to the rim. A yellow band encircles the edge.


History note: Auguste Ricard de Montferrande; sold Christie's, 14-16 November 1859, Catalogue of the very extensive and valuable collection of majolica ware, the property of that well-known amateur, Monsieur Auguste Ricard de Montferrand of St Petersburgh . . .; p. 18, lot 283 (£93.9); Alexander Barker; Sir Francis Cook, Bt.;Wyndham F. Cook; Humphrey Wyndham Cook; sold Christie's, 7 July 1925, Catalogue of an important collection of objects of art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the property of Humphrey W. Cook, Esq., and removed from 8 Cadogan Square, S.W., being a portion of the celebrated collection formed by the late Sir Francis Cook, Bart., p. 9, lot 21; The Right Hon. F. Leverton Harris.

Legal notes

F. Leverton Harris Bequest, 1926

Measurements and weight

Height: 5.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Cafaggiolo ⪼ Tuscany ⪼ Italy
  • Montelupo ⪼ Tuscany ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1927) by Harris, Frederick Leverton


16th Century, Early#
Production date: dated AD 1514 : Dated on reverse; see inscription


Probably made in the workshop in Cafaggiolo founded in 1498 by Piero and Stefano di Filippo di Dimitri Schiavone from Montelupo. The dish has been attributed to Jacopo on the grounds of similarities to a dish decorated with an equestrian Judith with the Head of Holofernes, signed 'Japo in chaffagguolo' which is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Jacopo di Stefano di Filippo died in 1576, and questions have been raised as to whether he and the painter of the dishes was the same man. It is also possible that the dish was made in Montelupo.

The source for this scene was one of a set of twelve large woodcuts forming a Triumph of Caesar by Jacob Argentoratensis (Jacob of Strasbourg) to designs by Benedetto Bordon, published in Venice in 1504. The Triumph follows Appian's account of Scipio's entry into Rome at the end of the Second Punic War but details relating to Caesar were incorporated. His horse, for example, was based on Suetonius' description of it as having 'feet that were almost human; for its hoofs were cloven in such a way as to look like toes'. The maiolica painter followed the woodcut closely, including this feature, but omitted the small nude boy behind the horse. Each section of the Triumph is labelled with a letter from A to L, hence the 'H' below the scene. The next section, labelled 'I', occurs on a dish in the Victoria and Albert Museum, also dated 1514, but in Roman numerals. Prints of scenes from the 'Passion of Christ' by Jacob of Strasbourg were also used as sources of designs by maiolica painters, for example. a large dish decorated with the Flagellation within a border of grotesques in the Hermitage, St Petersburg.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( metallic oxide colours)
Rim Diameter 40.4 cm

Materials used in production

buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; on the reverse the glaze is off-white and has crawled in several places. Painted in dark blue, light blue, green, yellow, orange, and brownish-red

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 1514 over a 2 with a vertical stroke through the horizontal line
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Painted
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: rectangular paper label with scarlet edge, printed 26 in scarlet

  • Text: 26
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Printed in scarlet
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: scrap of paper label printed 22 in black

  • Text: 22
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.86-1927
Primary reference Number: 47191
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 26 October 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 13 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Caesar's Horse from a Triumph of Caesar" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-22 22:50:07

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