Skip to main content

Dish: MAR.C.56-1912

An image of Dish

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Workshop: Mancini Workshop (Probably)




Renaissance maiolica dish decorated with blue and gold lustre with a woman playing a lute surrounded by a border of panels of scales, and stylized foliage divided by rays

Buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale grey with many black speckles and small holes. Painted in blue and with dull silver-yellow lustre.
Shape 61. Circular with slightly sloping rim and rim and wide deep well, standing on a footring pierced by two holes in the correct position for suspension the right way up.
In the middle, a woman playing a lute sits in a garden, with a tree and plants around her. The edge of the well has a border of paired laurel leaves. The rim is divided by radial stripes into four compartments containing alternately scales and a formal flower on a stem flanked by scrolling foliage. A band of yellow lustre encircles the outer edge.


History note: Unknown before Charles Brinsley Marlay (1831-1912) by whom bequeathed

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 36.5 cm
Height: 8.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Deruta ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


16th Century, Mid
Circa 1545 - 1570


The woman may represent the Sense of Hearing or Music. The figure drawing is similar to that on maiolica attributed to the Mancini workshop in Deruta, such as a panel of the 'Virgin and Child with Saints' in the Cora collection at the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Faenza. Lustred dishes decorated in similar style with standing figures of St Barbara, Prudence and Fortitude are in the French national collections. This dish, however, is a little smaller than most Deruta display dishes (piatti da pompa), and its greyish tin-glazed back and pallid lustre gave rise to doubts about its authenticity. These were shown to be unfounded when thermoluminescence analysis by the Oxford Research Laboratory of Archaeology and the History of Art in 1994 estimated that the sample was fired between 300 and 460 years ago. This result may support the hypothesis that some display dishes with tin-glazed backs were made at the end of the date range assessed for this type, and need not be regarded with suspicion unless there are discrepancies between the style of painting and the estimated date.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colour ( blue) reduced pigment lustre ( dull silver-yellow lustre)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Throwing : Buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall; the reverse pale grey with many black speckles and small holes. Painted in blue and with dull silver-yellow lustre.

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.C.56-1912
Primary reference Number: 48491
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Thursday 1 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Dish" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-30 23:07:44

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Dish |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-30 23:07:44|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Dish</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...