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Dish: C.190-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown (Possibly)




Renaissance, maiolica dish, painted in polychrome with, in the middle, Judith holding the head of Holofernes, surrounded by, on the sides, four busts and four panels.

Dish. Pale red earthenware, tin-glazed creamy-white on the front; reverse unglazed. Painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, and manganese-brown.
Shape 67. Circular with curved sides and slightly everted rim, standing on a footring pierced by two correctly placed suspension holes.
In the middle, Judith, holding the head of Holofernes in her left hand and a scimitar in her right, stands in front of two buildings. The date, `1585', is inscribed above her head, and `IVD/ITTA' on each side of it. The scene is enclosed by a ribbon, which loops over the surface to create four oval and four smaller lozenge-shaped panels. The former contain busts: at the top, a draped male bust in profile to left with two labels inscribed `.IL.GRA RVGG/IERO. B.O.'(il gran Ruggiero bello); at the bottom, a contemporary male bust full-face, with labels inscribed `.SALV.STRIO/HONESTO'; on the left, a female bust in profile to right with labels inscribed `MARGARITA/BELLA'. The female bust on the right is missing but the word `BEL(LA)' remains. Each of the smaller lozenges contains a putto's head with the date `1585'. The spaces are coloured alternately green with manganese-brown spirals and manganese-brown with incised spirals. A narrow blue band and a wide yellow band encircle the rim. The back is inscribed faintly inside the footring in black, `AD6/ O...Re/.1585.'(AD 6 October.1585.).


History note: Signor Avvocato Marcioni or Cavaliere Capitano Lucatelli; Sotheby's, 16-17 [17] February 1914, Catalogue of the collections of early Italian pottery formed by Signor Avvocato Marcioni and Cavaliere Capitano Lucatelli of Orvieto, lot 270; sold to J. Hall. Cecil Leitch & Kerin Ltd., London, from whom purchased on 7 October 1932 by H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

H.S. Reitlinger Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 29.5 cm
Height: 6.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Viterbo ⪼ Lazio ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1950) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


16th Century
Production date: AD 1585 : dated


Probably Lazio, perhaps Viterbo or Acquapendente

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, green, yellow, orange, and manganese-brown)
Front composed of tin-glaze

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: '1585' flanked by 'IVD ITTA'
  • Location: Front, in the middle
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: by male bust

  • Text: '.IL.GRA RVGG' and 'IERO.BO.O.'
  • Location: Front, at the top
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: by male bust

  • Text: '.SALV.STRIO' and 'HONESTO'
  • Location: Front, at the bottom
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: by female bust

  • Text: 'MARGARITA' and 'BELLA'
  • Location: Front, left
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: by female bust

  • Text: BELLA
  • Location: Front, right
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: 1585
  • Location: Front, in four smaller lozenges
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: AD6/O...Re/.1585.
  • Location: Back, inside footring
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in black
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.190-1991
Primary reference Number: 72834
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

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) "Dish" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-24 19:06:23

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