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  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1540-1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, parcel-gilt, chased, embossed, engraved

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, The Foyle Foundation Gallery, case 12

A banquet proclaimed a host’s wealth. Across Europe, this was partly achieved by displaying valuable silver, glass or ceramics, like this bowl, on a makeshift, stepped structure. In Italy, this was called a ‘credenza’ (meaning ‘trust’, a reference to the practice of testing food for poison), while in France and England it was a ‘buffet’. Sometimes food and functional objects were included on the bottom tier. Once dinner was over, the shelves were dismantled and the valuables locked away. The shape of this bowl is still influenced by Gothic design, though the decoration already shows Renaissance elements.

Physical description

Bowl, silver, parcel-gilt, with domed base, upper rim with traces of gilding; the centre with parcel-gilt embossed decoration of interlacing strapwork, quatrefoil motif and grotesque foliage inscribed in a circle; with separately made gilt foot with egg-and-dart decoration

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1540-1550 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silver, parcel-gilt, chased, embossed, engraved

Marks and inscriptions

'*I* TRAV*'
Engraved by amateur hand on outer rim; interpreted as a name by R.W. Lightbown in 1978.


Diameter: 21.5 cm upper rim, Diameter: 12.2 cm foot ring, Height: 6.3 cm maximum

Descriptive line

Silver, parcel-gilt, France, ca.1540-1550

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

Lightbown, R.W., Secular goldsmith's work in medieval France: A History. London: Society of Antiquaries of London/Thames and Hudson, 1978.
Lightbown, R.W., French Silver. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1978, cat. no. 21.


Silver; Gold


Raising; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Grotesques; Foliage; Circles (plane figures)


Eating; Food vessels & Tableware; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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