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Dish: C.2117-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: Unknown (Uncertain)




Maiolica dish, painted in polychrome with, in the middle, the Virgin Mary and, surrounded by, a star, a ladder, a palm, trees, a city, a well, a mirror, a fountain, tower of David, a garden, a temple and a dragon.

Earthenware, tin-glazed overall, unevenly on the back which has many pinholes and a few gritty areas. Painted in blue, yellowish-green, yellow, and orange.
Shape approximately 63.
In the middle, a mandorla encloses the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon and with twelve stars round her head. Above God the Father leans from clouds over a scroll inscribed `TO/TAPU/LERAES/AMICA/MEA IMACU/LA NO/TV PVLER' (Tota pulchra es, amica mea, imacula non tu pulchra), below which on the left is the sun and on the right, the moon. The mandorla is surrounded by symbols labelled on scrolls: a star, STELLA MARI(S) (Star of the Sea); a ladder, SCALACELI (stair to heaven); a palm, QV(A)SI PALMA; an apple or pomegranate tree, QV(A)SI PLARBO (?); a lemon tree, QVACIDRV(M); a cypress QV(A)SI CIPSV (cipressus); a city, CIVADEI (civitas dei); a well, PVAQUA (puteus aquae); an olive, QVASI OLIV(VM); a spotless mirror, SPE/CVLV SINCVL (speculum sine culpa); a sealed fountain, FONS/SIGNATVS; a tower of David, TVRRISDAV(ID); an enclosed garden, ORTVSCO CLV (hortus conclusus), a temple of the lord, TE(M)PLVMDO(MINI); and a dragon with seven heads, unlabelled. The rim is decorated with parti-coloured yellow and green leaves, carrot-shaped motifs and blue stems, tendrils and spots.


History note: Sydney Hand, Grafton Street, London, from whom purchased for £20 on 28 April 1919 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 45.2 cm
Height: 4.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Laterza ⪼ Puglia ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


17th Century#
Circa 1625 CE - 1675 CE


This dish was attributed to Seville when Glaisher purchased it, and has been reattributed to Laterza on the basis of its extremely white glaze, colouring and border pattern.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, yellowish-green, yellow, and orange)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Earthenware, tin-glazed overall, unevenly on the back which has many pinholes and a few gritty areas. Painted in blue, yellowish-green, yellow, and orange.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Tota pulchra es, amica mea, imacula non tu pulchra

  • Location: On front
  • Type: Inscription
  • Location: On front
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2117-1928
Primary reference Number: 73125
Old object number: 4851
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: 2024-03-03 03:00:05

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