Dish (one of a pair)

Maker: Anthony Ficketts (British, active 1635–85)

Date: 1664/65

Culture: British, London

Medium: Silver gilt

Dimensions: Overall (confirmed): 2 1/2 x 18 x 18 in., 7 oz. 17 dwt. (6.4 x 45.7 x 45.7 cm, 244.3g)

Classification: Metalwork-Silver

Credit Line: Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1968

Accession Number: 68.141.79

Description

This dish is one of a pair (see also 68.141.80) engraved with the arms of Sir John Brownlow and his wife Alice Pulteney, displayed together on one shield divided vertically into a left (dexter) and right (sinister) side. The arms are surmounted by a greyhound, the husband's family crest; in the top dexter corner—in the canton—is a right hand, palm outward, the emblem of the baronet, an honor awarded to Brownlow in 1641. Ostrich feathers encircle the shield, their quills crossed and tied in a bow below.

The generous size of this dish reflects the tendency toward extravagance during the Restoration period, but its shape harks back to the dishes for serving rice to a large gathering first used in Portugal after the encounter with Asian cultures in the early sixteenth century. This particular dish, however, may have been used for display rather than serving rice.

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