Deep basins of this type were common in affluent houses of the late fifteenth century and probably can be identified with the term bacin which appears in a number of documents. One household is recorded owning 130 bowls and basins of various sorts, while another, in Barcelona, is described as having six lusterware bowls hanging on the wall. The depth of this basin and the wide brim designed for easy carrying would indicate that it was filled with water and was used for washing the hands and face. This may well be the type described in the inventories of King René, duke of Anjou, for the years 1471-1472, as "a large plate of Valencia, tin-enameled with golden foliage," which was kept in his private quarters. The crowns around the brim of the basin may reflect the owner’s rank, while the I and M in the center are probably the initials of Jesus and Mary. The subtlety of the design is revealed in the undersides of the crowns which are painted on the inner wall of the basin giving them an illusion of three-dimensionality.
[ Hôtel Drouot, Paris (May 8, 1894, no. 6)] ; William Randolph Hearst American, 1863–1951, New York and San Simeon (sold 1956) ; William Randolph Hearst Foundation, New York (1951–1956)
New York. The Cloisters Museum & Gardens. "The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages," March 28, 1975–June 15, 1975.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Hearst, the Collector," November 16, 2008–March 1, 2009.
Catalogue d'une précieuse collection de faïences italiennes, hispano moresques d'Alcora et de Nimes. Paris: Hôtel Drouot, May 8, 1894. no. 6, p. 5, ill.
Randall, Richard Jr. "Lusterware of Spain." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 15, no. 10 (June 1957). p. 220.
Husband, Timothy B. "Valencian Lusterware of the Fifteenth Century: An Exhibition at the Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 29, no. 1 (Summer 1970). p. 28, fig. 12.
Frothingham, Alice Wilson, ed. Fine European Earthenware. Special Exhibition Issue, Pharos, Vol. 11, no. 1. St. Petersburg, Fla.: Museum of Fine Arts, 1973. no. 15, p. 20.
Husband, Timothy B., and Jane Hayward, ed. The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975. no. 74, p. 66.
Dectot, Xavier. Céramiques hispaniques (XIIe-XVIIIe siècle). Paris: Musée National du Moyen Âge - Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny, 2007. p. 60.
Levkoff, Mary L., ed. Hearst, the Collector. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2008. no. 75, p. 199.