Not currently on display at the V&A

Ewer

late 16th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The transformation of ewers and basins from objects of use into pure showpieces occurred earlier in Italy than in the rest of Europe. It coincided with the triumph of Mannerism - a highly sophisticated mutation of the Renaissance style, which first appeared in Northern Italy in the early 16th century. Italian ewers of the period, such as this one, display the love of sinuous and elegantly contorted forms that characterised the Mannerist style. The ovate body, trumpet foot, narrow neck and high up curving handle were probably influenced by the first Mannerist ewers. This type is always richly decorated.

This ewer is made of copper. Unlike brass, copper is sufficiently malleable to be easily embossed, in the same way as silver. Because of this in the past copper could compete with silver, to some extent.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Copper
Brief Description
Copper ewer embossed with vine-scrolls and arabesques and with a curved spout and plain, spreading base, Italian, late 16th century
Physical Description
Egg-shaped body embossed with vine-scrolls and arabesques and a coat of arms (partly per fess, in base bendy, in chief a demi-griffin); spool-shaped neck, curved spout and plain, spreading base.
Dimensions
  • Height: 9.875in
  • Width: 6.625in
Credit line
Given by Dr W.L. Hildburgh
Subjects depicted
Summary
The transformation of ewers and basins from objects of use into pure showpieces occurred earlier in Italy than in the rest of Europe. It coincided with the triumph of Mannerism - a highly sophisticated mutation of the Renaissance style, which first appeared in Northern Italy in the early 16th century. Italian ewers of the period, such as this one, display the love of sinuous and elegantly contorted forms that characterised the Mannerist style. The ovate body, trumpet foot, narrow neck and high up curving handle were probably influenced by the first Mannerist ewers. This type is always richly decorated.



This ewer is made of copper. Unlike brass, copper is sufficiently malleable to be easily embossed, in the same way as silver. Because of this in the past copper could compete with silver, to some extent.
Collection
Accession Number
M.11-1954

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record createdFebruary 9, 2004
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