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

The oval bowl, the urn-shaped stem and domed foot, are all gadrooned.

The enamel mounts are 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 is of European origin and probably Milanese, 8.9cm high.

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 (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).

This 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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