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Dish: C.4-1965

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 6 (Upper Marlay): case 2, shelf A


Potter: Unknown




Tin-glazed earthenware with relief decoration, painted in blue with a half-length figure of a woman, grotesques, and fruit, flowers, acorns and foliage.

Pale buff earthenware, moulded in relief and tin-glazed overall. The design is outlined in blue and reserved in a dark blue ground. The reverse is painted in blue and green. Shape approximately 70 but deeper. Circular with a flat rim; wide shallow well with a slightly convex boss in the centre.
On the boss, encircled by wavy ribbon, is a half-length figure of a young woman, full face, her head inclined to her left. She has long wavy hair falling over her left shoulder, a high-waisted dress with a knot-like jewel on the front, and a cloak loosely draped round her shoulders. The sides are decorated in relief with radiating grotesques, comprising pairs of dolphins with scroll tails, pairs of winged sea horses and winged beasts with female heads addorsed, winged putto's heads, and grotesque masks flanked by dragons. On the rim, there are bunches of fruit, flowers, acorns and foliage with pairs of tendrils between them incised through the ground. The back is edged by twenty wavy-edged leaves outlined in blue (one smaller than the others), reserved in a green ground.


History note: Baron Gustave de Rothschild; by descent to his grandson, Baron Henri Lambert; Baroness Lambert; New York, Parke-Bernet, 7 March 1941, Superb Italian majolica, Palissy ware, silver, Gothic and Renaissance objects of art, two important Beauvais tapestries, comprising masterpieces from the collection of the late Baron Gustave De Rothschild, now the property by inheritance of Baroness Lambert, New York, . . ., lot 106; Dr Robert Bak; Sotheby's, 7 December 1965, Catalogue of a highly important collection of early Italian maiolica formed by Dr Bak of New York, lot 56.

Legal notes

Purchased with the Cunliffe Fund and University Purchase Grant.

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 35.5 cm
Height: 4.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Deruta ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1965-11-25) by Sotheby's


16th Century
Circa 1530 CE - 1550 CE


The attribution of this basin to Deruta rests on the similarity between the grotesques in the well and those around a painted medallion of St Catherine on a lustred ewer basin in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Deruta relief-moulded dishes with lustred or reserved white grotesque decoration are uncommon in comparison with those without reliefs.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue and green)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding in relief : Pale buff earthenware, moulded in relief and tin-glazed overall. The design is outlined in blue and reserved in a dark blue ground. The reverse is painted in blue and green.

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.4-1965
Primary reference Number: 78876
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Saturday 14 March 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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