This plate belongs to a category of maiolica known as lusterware due to the iridescence of some of the colors employed in its decoration. When fired in the kiln, the metallic oxides turn into metal on the surface of the pottery, resulting in a lustrous surface with reflective properties The scene depicted on this plate of a male centaur vanquishing a female centaur is uncommon in Renaissance art, and its significance is unclear, as is that of the letters FR[the R crossed].ELAF.MI. that appear on the scroll above the two figures.
Inscription: Inscribed on scroll: FR [R crossed] • ELAF • MI (undeciphered)
Hollingworth Magniac , London and Colworth, Bedfordshire (until d. 1867; Magniac sale, Christie;s, London, July 2, 4–8, 11–15, 1892, no. 481; sold for £205 plus premium to Duveen); [ Duveen Brothers , New York, 1892; probably sold the same year for $1,800 to Havemeyer ]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer , New York (probably 1892–his d. 1907) ; Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer , New York (1907–d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA)