Purchased in Naples in the 1780s by the 5th Earl of Shaftesbury, this large ewer and basin form part of a set of a three.

A smaller ewer and dish were acquired by the Ashmolean Museum, also with the assistance of the Art Fund. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery acquired the third smaller set. The event commemorated is thought to be the Battle of the Po, waged between the Genoese and Venetians in 1431. Four episodes of this battle are depicted on the rim of the basin and the story is then continued in the body of the ewer and the well of the basin. These pieces formed part of the collection of silver belonging to the Lomellini family of Genoa, one of the wealthiest and most powerful families of the city's merchant aristocracy.

Provenance

5th Earl of Shaftesbury; by descent, Lord de Mauley.




Exhibitions at V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)

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