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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1965T563
Collection:Social History - Pinto Collection
Date:1575 - 1575


This pearwood dish is dated 1575, and originates from northern Italy. Although there are a number of large dishes or chargers made in silver, bronze and other metals from this period, it is unusual to find one made of wood. It poses a number of questions. Perhaps it was made as a trial piece. To commission a charger in silver would have been an expensive process. A wooden trial piece could be a sensible way of making sure that the commissioner really wanted to go ahead with the work. Or, possibly, the wooden surface could have been gilded all over to suggest that it was made from a more exotic material. There are traces of gilding on the surface which may suggest this.The dish has been turned on a pole lathe and carved with religious scenes. The four Evangelists are set in roundels bordering scenes of Salome; the Prodigal son; Christ at the well; and the worship of the Magi. In the centre of the dish is an unknown coat-of-arms, and the date 1575.

Purchased from Edward H Pinto, 1965.

Further Information

Production Period:16th century
Medium:Carved. Turned.
Place of Origin:Italy


Height:8.5 cm
Diameter:55.5 cm