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made in Italy

Postcard of Dish.
© National Museums Scotland


This maiolica dish was made in Italy, possibly at Castel Durante, between 1530 and 1560.

The dish is painted in polychrome with a portrait of a lady. It is inscribed 'PORTIA.B.', which stands for 'Portia Bella' [the beautiful Portia].

Portraits with inscriptions like this were commissioned as gifts and are quite common. Formerly it was thought that they were all made at Castel Durante. However, they were probably made at many of the major potting centres during this period.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-004-707-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1876.31.2
Date: 1530 - 1560
Between 1530 and 1560
Material: Earthenware. Inscription: PORTIA.B
Dimensions: 51 mm H x 226 mm D
Subject: Ceramics : earthenware : Italy : Castel Durante
Where: Italy, Castel Durante
Description: Maiolica dish painted in polychrome with the portrait of a lady: Italian, possibly Castel Durante, 1530 - 1560
  • Curnow, Celia, Italian Maiolica in the National Museums of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1992 
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