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Basin

Workshop of:
Unknown
Date:
c 1500
Place of production:
Valencia, Spain
Medium:
tin-glazed earthenware, metallic lustre
Type of object:
basins
Accession number:
7174
Cat No:
2

Commentary

Pottery embellished with metallic lustre on a creamy-white ground was much in demand by Italians in the last half of the 15th century. A speciality of Moorish potters working around Valencia, this basin bears an unintelligible script and probably a fanciful shield. It may have been made as a decorative piece for a middle-class consumer more interested in fashionable appearance than familial heraldry.

The complicated process for achieving this distinctive glossy finish was a closely guarded secret of the Spanish potters. They exclusively supplied merchants with bowls, dishes and vases until the technique was mastered by a few Italian workshops around 1500. The patterns that recur in sequence around the border are found on other dishes of this type made around this date (Anthony Ray, "Spanish Pottery 1248-1898", London, 2000, p. 91.

Worn lustre around the central boss indicates the dish may have been used to support a ewer rather than being purely for display. The shield and the pseudo-inscription of gothic-looking letters may have been painted as a pattern, designed to mimic more prestigious pieces, but without real understanding of their content.

Diana Stone, 2013

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
395 diam.
Labels:
E1/15/7
1972
Label
[on reverse, label in ink and pencil]

Right of Bracket
Left of Billiard Room Door
Hanging Line . Bottom of Bracket
Label
[on reverse, label in pencil]

TG
Label
[on reverse, round label in ink]

E1/15/7
Label
[on reverse, round label in ink]

History

Provenance:
Acquired by Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922); inherited by her great-nephew James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); accepted by The Treasury Solicitor in lieu of taxes on the Estate of Mr James de Rothschild in 1963; given to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1963.
Collection:
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Trust for display at Waddesdon Manor, 1963

Indexed terms

Research keywords
Renaissance
Subjects
Heraldry/Coat of Arms