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Maiolica Collection

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Dish with a siren

Venice, 1540

23.2 cm (diameter)

tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)

This splendid dish is the earliest dated example of Venetian berettino maiolica in this style with figure-subjects. A plate in the same style in the Victoria and Albert Museum is marked as made in the workshop of “Maestro Lodovico” in Venice, and it is possible, though not certain, that this dish was made in the same workshop. Nothing is known of Maestro Lodovico from contemporary documents and it seems impossible that all of the fine-quality work sometimes attributed to him could be the product of a workshop unrecorded in archival sources. The reverse of the plate carries the date, 1540 ADI.16.DEL MEXE DE OTV.. (“On the 16th day of the month of October 1540”), the remainder of the inscription being illegible due to crawling of the glaze in firing), along with foliate decoration and fluting in imitation of embossed metalwork.

Presented by C. D. E. Fortnum, 1888.  WA1888.CDEF.C492

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