Manises, Spain, 15th century
Provenance: Private European Collection
Stock no.: A4944
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This tin-glazed earthenware dish is of shallow form with a moderate outward sloping rim; the ground is painted on a pinkish creamy-white tin glaze. The front and centre of the dish is charged with a fleur-de-lis enclosed in a blue shield. The front is decorated on the rim with brown copper-lustre atauriques forming curled plants, stems and leaves. The reverse of the dish is decorated with stylised leaf shoots inside concentric circles and surrounded by dots.
This dish, unusual for its smaller size in comparison to larger dishes, bears a coat of arms or heraldic shield that is commonly found on many other Manises chargers from this period. A larger dish (34.1cm diameter) in The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Accession Number 167-1893, dating to circa 1450-1475, has a leaping fish enclosed in a blue-outlined shield. According to Ray, the fish shield or coat of arms may be the badge of a noble family but it could also be purely ornamental.
Ray, A. Spanish Pottery 1248-1898, V&A Publications, London, 2000.
 Ray, p. 81, fig. 171