This large bowl or dish belongs to a set made as a gift for the king and queen of Hungary; their royal arms appear at the top, interrupting the elaborate border. Concentric circles of ribbons, flowers, and geometric designs act as a framing device for the central scene, where the woman and unicorn probably symbolize chastity. Beautiful and functional, a dish like this one might have hung from a wall at times and been used at a table at others.
Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary ; and/or his third wife, Beatrice of Aragon , Château de Langeais, Indre-et-Loire, France (until 1886; Château de Langeais collection sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, December 13–18, 1886, no. 68); [ Charles Mannheim , Paris, by 1888–1901; sold as part of the Mannheim collection to Morgan ]; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (1901–d. 1913; on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1901–12 [no. 41], brought to New York 1912); J. P. Morgan Jr. , New York (1913–16; on loan to MMA 1914–16 [PM3053]; sold to Duveen as part of the Morgan collection); [ Duveen Brothers , New York, 1916; sold to Schiff ] ; Mortimer L. Schiff , New York (1916–d. 1931; on loan to MMA 1917–19; to his son, John); by descent, John M. Schiff , New York (1931–46; on loan to MMA 1937–46, on view 1937–41; his sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, May 4, 1946, no. 60; sold for $9,500 plus $475 commission to French and Company); [ French and Co., New York , as agent for MMA, 1946 ]