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  • Place of origin:

    Venice (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass, engraved

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 63, The Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery, case 8

This brass dish was a luxury display object designed to display the status of its owner. It is engraved with the coat of arms of the aristocratic Mocenigo family and was probably directly commissioned by one of its members.

The decoration you see here is typically found on brass wares made in Venice in the period 1500-1550. Both the technique and motifs were influenced by the objects brought back to the city by Venetian merchants trading with the Turkish and Arab empires that bordered the Mediterranean basin.

The local craftsmen adopted the deep, bold engraving seen on the Islamic models but only very occasionally used the silver inlay that was a speciality of the Saracen artists. They also incorporated more pictorial imagery into the decoration. Here the maker has used putti and dolphins associated with the European late Renaissance style.

Physical description

The arms of the Mocenigo family are on a cartouche in the centre of the dish, the rest of the bottom is filled with two putti and four winged female termi who merge into foliage. The rim is engraved with arabesques alternating with grotesque half-human figures each holding a dolphin in each hand.

Place of Origin

Venice (made)


ca. 1550 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Brass, engraved


Height: 6.2 cm, Diameter: 44.5 cm, Weight: 2.02 kg

Descriptive line

Brass dish extensivley engraved with strapwork and putti and the arms of the Mocenigo family, Venice, Italy, ca. 1550





Subjects depicted

Foliage; Dolphin; Putti; Coat of arms


Food vessels & Tableware; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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