A Castelli Armorial plate, circa 1680-1700.

The slightly sunken centre depicts ‘The Death of Absolom’ after an engraving by Aegidius Sadeler, after Martin de Vos.

The rim is painted with birds and putti amidst scrolling foliage and the arms of Dura of Naples.

The palette includes manganese, yellow ochre sage green and cobalt blue, 54.5cm.

Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793), who travelled to Italy on two occasions, was very much drawn to the subject matter and colours of Italian majolica and purchased a considerable number of pieces.

The mediaeval hill town of Castelli in the Abruzzo has long been known for its majolica wares.

They were particularly popular with the English nobility and other Grand Tourists from the 16th to the 18th Centuries and are still made in the town to this day.

The 1804 Burghley Inventory records: ‘No.44 West Dressing room…Ornamental China…2 Delph dishes in black frames.’

The 1867 Burghley Inventory is slightly more specific: ‘The Black and Yellow Bed Chamber…A pair of majolica plates in black frames.’


Related collections