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Origin: London

Date: 1695-1696

40.6 cm length; 31.1 cm width; 1411 g weight

Marks/Maker: London, sterling standard, 1695-6, maker's mark of Pierre Harache I

Provenance: William, 3rd Marquess of Exeter, Burghley House, sale, Christie's, 7 June 1888, lot 42, to Phillips; Montagu, 1st Lord Swaythling, sale, Christie's, 6 May 1924, lot 44, to Crichton; Wernher collection, Lutton Hoo

Purchased from the executors of the late Nicholas Phillips (from the Wernher Collection at Luton Hoo) with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, MGC/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the National Art Collections Fund (now the Art Fund); Friends of the Ashmolean, France, Madan and Central Purchase Funds and Department Funds, 1994; WA1994.50

T. Schroder (2009), no. 205

This dish forms part of the finest surviving toilet service of the seventeenth century. It is first recorded in the 1880 inventory of plate at Burghley House in Lincolnshire but its earlier history is a mystery. The most likely source of the commission was a foreign member of William III's court in 1688 - the use of a cipher rather than a coat of arms is more typical of Holland in this context. The remarkable engraving, rich with imagery alluding to love, marriage and fruitfulness, can possibly be attributed to Simon Gribelin (1662-1733).

Information derived from T. Schroder, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean (2009)

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