An Urbino maiolica dish, 1560-80.

The recessed centre of the dish depicts Abraham tending his flock; the scene derived from a detail of an engraving by Bernard Salomon illustrating Genesis XVI: the story of Abraham.

The wide rim is painted with a variety of grotesques and mythological figures, including various allegories.

It is interesting to speculate whether this dish, and others of its kind, were purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), during his 17th Century Grand Tours, or by his great grandson, Brownlow, 9th Earl (1725-1793), in the 18th Century, as both were known to admire ceramics of this type.


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