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  • Place of origin:

    Lisbon (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1540 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 69, The Whiteley Galleries, case 5

This striking Portuguese dish would have been made for display on a sideboard and is embossed with decorative motifs inspired by classical ornament. The design, with the trophies of arms, the masks on the shields and the helmets formed as grotesque animals' heads, is an early example of the Mannerist style, an exaggerated, fantastical taste which was popular in Europe in the second half of the 16th century.

Lisbon was an important medieval centre of goldsmiths' work until Spain and Portugal were united under Spanish rule in 1580.

Physical description

Circular with low foot and raised centre. Decoration: broad band of stems bearing flowers and fruit, intersphered with trophies on rim; borders of laurel, cherub-heads, enriched with moulding surrounding medallion with female bust on raised centre.

Place of Origin

Lisbon (made)


ca. 1540 (made)



Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Maker's mark.

Unidentified mark

a ship
Town mark for Lisbon.


Diameter: 32.70 cm, Height: 7.60 cm

Object history note

Traditionally associated with Elihu Yale. Symbolism: pomegranate associated with Aragon, thistle with Lisbon.

Purchase - (£100) Madryn Castle collection.

Descriptive line

Dish, circular decorated with stems bearing flowers and fruit, trophies on rim, borders of laurel, cherub-heads, and central medallion with female bust, Lisbon, ca. 1540

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

The Golden Age of Hispanic Silver 1400-1665, Charles Oman, Pg.86, pl.108, HMSO, 1968; Article: “Some Old Portuguese and Other Foreign Silver at Madryn Castle, North Wales”, E Alfred Jones, Conoisseur, XXVII, 1910, p.164-5

Labels and date

Silver Gallery:
Lisbon remained an important centre of goldsmiths' work until Spain and Portugal were united under Spanish rule in 1580. Although predominantly a Renaissance design, the trophies of arms on this dish, with masks on the shields and helmets formed as grotesque animals' heads, have hints of mannerist ornament. [26/11/2002]
Silver-gilt, embossed and chased
Marked for GF and VZ
Portuguese (Lisbon); about 1540
Madryn Castle Collection
The design, incorporating trophies of arms, indicates the impact of the Renaissance. []





Subjects depicted

Cherubs; Pomegranate; Bust; Laurel; Fruit; Thistle; Flowers




Metalwork Collection

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