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Dish decorated in lustre with raised boss of concentric rings
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Dish decorated in lustre with raised boss of concentric rings


Spain (Manises, Valencia?) 16th century (1500 - 1599)

Diameter: 47.5 cm;

Centre, ERAT VERBUM (garbled version of the opening of the Gospel of Saint John)

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Gambier-Parry, Mark; bequest; 1966

About this work
For about two hundred years, Manises, near Valencia,

was renowned as a pottery centre, providing luxury

lustreware on an almost mass scale for wealthy clients all

over Europe, and especially Italy. Typical wares include bowls, jugs and

dishes, forming part of lavish dinner services.

Valencian lustreware has a dual heritage, reflecting Spain’s Islamic and Christian history. The shape of this dish is European while the lustred decoration recalls the earlier Islamic ceramics of Spain. The Latin inscription refers to the dish’s Christian patronage: “In principio erat verbum’ is the first line of the Gospel of John, ‘In the beginning was the Word’.

Large dishes like this one, with their boldly painted backs, must have been designed to be seen from both sides. The holes in the rim are original, indicating the dish was probably suspended when not in use, either for storage or display. (Permanent collection label)

This work is not on display
While we make every effort to ensure this information is correct, displays are subject to last-minute changes.

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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