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Mortar - Mortar


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Venice (made)

  • Date:

    1550-1580 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Alberghetti, Giovanni (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bell shaped bronze mortar as a handle in the form of a fish. This mortar is attributed to the Alberghetti foundry and is thought to have been made between 1550-80

Physical description

A bronze bell-shaped mortar, with one remaining handle in the form of a fish. Decorated around the rim with arabesque ornament flanked by rope, with a plain moulding; upright stiff leaf on a cyma recta moulding delineated by plain mouldings. On the body, garlands with foliage pendants suspended from a narrow plain moulding, a star or flower above each swag; below, fruit trees flanked by two kinds of flowers (or thistles) and eagles, with a griffin, a lion passant, a walking stag and a scratching hind. Below, a recessed moulding and gadrooned bowl. Moulded foot.

Place of Origin

Venice (made)


1550-1580 (made)


Alberghetti, Giovanni (maker)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 13.2 cm, Diameter: 16 cm rim

Object history note

Bought from Michelangelo Guggenheim, Venice, in 1889 (with 335 to 354-1889), for £300.

Descriptive line

Mortar, bronze, birds, animals, fish handle

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1889. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1890. pp. 36
Motture, Peta. Bells and Mortars. Catalogue of the Italian Bronzes in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2001. pp. 114-6, cat. no. 24



Subjects depicted

Foliage; Fish; Garlands


Sculpture Collection

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