Dish, brass

Dish, brass

Dish

Brass, chased and engraved with silver inlay
Venice, Italy; about 1550-1600
Coat of arms (unidentified)

Venice was the centre of a flourishing trade with Egypt, Syria and Persia. The city exported sheet copper and brass, which then returned in the form of elaborately engraved and inlaid metalwork for the local aristocratic market. Venetian craftsmen also copied Islamic designs. This dish is a masterpiece of the engraver's art. It is adorned with 'arabesques', interlaced vines and stems, which became a feature of European metalwork in the 16th century.