An Italian gold, enamel and gem-set mounted standing bowl, probably Milanese, late 16th Century.

The oval bowl is gadrooned, together with the urn-shaped stem and domed foot, the enamel mounts decorated with strapwork and arabesques in white, black, red and blue; the whole enriched with pearls and table-cut diamonds and rubies in collets. The mounts to the bowl and stem are in Moghul style; the foot of European origin. Height 8.9cm, width 5cm, depth 4cm.
This ornate standing bowl was intended as much for decoration as for use, but may have featured on a wealthy lady’s dressing table.
It appears in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, the inventory of an enormous bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter, which lists under ‘Gold Things’: ‘An Agat wrought Cupp and Cover upon a high ffoot sett with Diamonds, Rubies and pearles’. The cover is now missing.


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