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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass, hammered in relief and stamped

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Misses E. C. and A. F. Vernet

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

By the early 16th century, brass dishes became greater in diameter, the depressions shallower and the flanges of the rims correspondingly wider. Pictorial themes continued to be used in decoration, but the wider bases afforded scope for an increasing use of abstract decoration. A central motif might be bounded by one or two concentric bands of decoration of either interlaced scroll like waves or lettering. This was not necessarily embossed with punches in the traditional manner but was often cast in the mould at an earlier stage in manufacturer. The inscriptions themselves were usually meaningless and merely incorporated into the overall design for their decorative value.

The rim of this dish is stamped with leaves and fleurs-de-lis.

The production of brass bowls was centred in Nuremberg, but other centres of brass production were Dinant in Flanders and its immediate neighbourhood, from Bouvignes to Aachen. Techniques and styles were copied with equal facility everywhere so that today it is difficult to assign a place of manufacture within Northern Europe to any dish produced during the 16th and 17th centuries. The dispersal of refugee craftsmen, after the downfall of Dinant in 1466 is one reason for this, as is the fact that dishes exported form their area of manufacture provided prototypes for others to follow.

Those exported to England were sometimes used as alms dishes. Elsewhere their function was primarily secular. European paintings of domestic interiors show that they were frequently used in conjunction with lavabos or ewers, also in brass, for washing hands after a meal. Before the 17th century, when forks became customary, such equipment was essential to any dining table.

Physical description

The centre of the dish is decorated with twisted gadroons, surrounded by bands of floral scrolls and an inscription done with repeating stamps. It has a lobed side and the rim is stamped with leaves and fleur-de-lys.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


early 16th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Brass, hammered in relief and stamped

Marks and inscriptions

Inscription; decoration; stamped


Diameter: 17 in

Descriptive line

Brass dish decorated with twisted gadroons, floral scrolls and the inscription 'IHS.XPS.VND.MARIA.HILF.', German, early 16th century




Hammered; Stamped

Subjects depicted

Leaves; Fleur-de-lys; Scrolls


Food vessels & Tableware; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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