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made in Urbino, Italy

Postcard of Bowl.
© National Museums Scotland


This maiolica bowl was made at the Fontana Workshop in Urbino in Italy between around 1560 and 1570.

The bowl is decorated in polychrome with the story of Tobias. Tobit is seated, Tobias is touching his eyes and the Archangel Raphael in disguise stands beside the chair. Sarah and Anna (wife and mother of Tobias) half kneel beside it and to the left, in the distant countryside, Tobias and the Archangel Raphael stand outside a small building beside the river Togris.

The story of Tobias was found in the Old Testament Apocrypha used by the Alexandrian Jews. It inspired many Renaissance artists. Tobias, accompanied by the Archangel Raphael in disguise, set out on a journey to Media to collect money owed to his recently blinded father, Tobit. Whilst bathing in the river Tigris, Tobias caught an enormous miraculous fish and ate it with the angel, saving the gall, heart and liver. Having secured the money, Tobias returned home with his new wife Sarah. Upon his return he anointed his father's eyes with the gall from the miraculous fish and restored his sight. The Archangel then revealed himself to the family.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-002-342-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.510.10
Date: Between around 1560 and 1570
c. 1560 - 1570
Material: Earthenware. Inscription: Tobia
Dimensions: 42 mm H x 276 mm D
Subject: Ceramics : earthenware : Italy : Castel Durante
Who: Auguste Ricard de Montferrand (Previous owner)
Fontana Workshop, Urbino (Maker)
Tobias (Depicted)
Where: Italy, Urbino
Description: Tin-glazed earthenware bowl decorated in polychrome with the story of Tobias regaining his sight: Italian, Urbino, Fontana Workshop, about 1560 - 1570
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