19 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches
Frances and Emory Cocke Collection
On View - Stent Family Wing, Second Level, Gallery 201
Fecundity, the allegorical figure representing fertility and productivity, surrounded by her offspring appears on a number of seventeenth-century English tin-glazed and molded dishes. Dated examples range from 1633 to 1697. This motif has been attributed to the French potter Bernard Palissy (ca. 1510–1590), who was known for his realistic molded decorations. Other French potters copied the design extensively and French models of the Fecundity dish were in London by the 1620. Over the next eighty years the French models were copied by the tin-glaze potters at Lambeth, just outside of London. The dish faces were pressed into molds and the backs were somewhat crudely finished by hand. The shape was based on metal alms dishes, and they were likely used as commemorative and decorative objects.