The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Plaque
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Milan, Italy
  • c. 1570
  • Steel, gold and ebony, embossed and counterfeit-damascened
  • Height: 33.5 cm
    Width: 19.4 cm
    Weight: 0.38 kg
  • A1341
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Upright plaque, of steel, embossed, chased and overlaid with gold on a darkened matt ground; arched top, slightly concave in section, and pierced with a keyhole aperture showing that it was intended as a panel for the door of a cabinet. The subject is Pilate seated on the seat of judgement and washing his hands before the multitude. He points upwards with his left hand, before him is a woman bearing a dish, and in the foreground a dog; in the background a colonnade; around him a concourse of men with helmeted soldiers in the background. In an ebonized frame.

    Italian (Milanese), about 1560.

    Compare the workmanship of the oval pageant shield A325, and plaques, A1339-40, especially for the arabesques on the costume.

    J. Montagu and O. Gamber have each suggested independently (personal communications, 1983) that the subject is more likely to be The Vestal Tuccia proving her virginity by carrying water in a sieve, a story told both by Pliny, Natural History, Lib. XXVIII, 12, and Valerius Maximus, Factorum dictorumque memorabilium libri IX, VIII, 1, 5 (see also under C92 in the Wallace Collection Catalogue of Ceramics, I, pp. 191-3). For a note on the workmanship of this plate see a note under A1340.