Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
ITALIAN, PROBABLY FLORENTINE, SECOND HALF 15TH CENTURY
ITALIAN, PROBABLY FLORENTINE, SECOND HALF 15TH CENTURY
1 More
ITALIAN, PROBABLY FLORENTINE, SECOND HALF 15TH CENTURY

A GILT-COPPER AND NIELLOED SILVER PATEN

Details
ITALIAN, PROBABLY FLORENTINE, SECOND HALF 15TH CENTURY
A GILT-COPPER AND NIELLOED SILVER PATEN
The centre with a niello depiction of the Pieta on a bank of clouds; the exergue possibly engraved with a depiction of the Abbey of Val Di Castro; inscribed to the outer rim 'CASTRI. ABASTIE. DE. FABRIANO'
7 3/8 in. (18.3 cm.) diameter
Provenance
Abbey of Val Di Castro, Fabriano.
Rothschild collection.

Brought to you by

Paul Gallois
Paul Gallois Head of European Furniture

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

The Abbey of Val Di Castro, east of Fabriano in Le Marche, was founded between 1005 and 1009 by Saint Romuald of Ravenna (c.950-1027). Romauld was born a member of the ducal Onesti family, but after witnessing his father kill a relative in a duel, Romuald became a monk and served as an abbot in the Monastery of St. Apollinaris near Ravenna. In 975 he went to Catalonia and seems to have been impressed by the vigorous life in the Catalonian monasteries. For several years he wandered through Italy and southern France, reforming existing monasteries and hermitages or founding new ones. By adding a note of severity to the Benedictine rule and by choosing the life of a hermit, Romuald initiated and helped to mould a movement that was to give birth to the Carthusians and the early Cistercians.

Romauld founded Val Di Castro and returned there in his final years, before he died, as he had prophesied, alone in his cell. Many miracles were wrought at his tomb, over which an altar was allowed to be erected in 1032. In 1466 his body was found incorrupt and in 1481 it was moved to the nearby Cathedral at Fabriano. Val Di Castro was long a major pilgrimage destination as Saint Romauld was worshipped as a 'new' Saint Benedict.

The paten was made to hold Eucharistic bread which was to be consecrated during the Mass. The present paten is centred by a nielloed silver roundel bearing an inscription identifying the Abbey of Val Di Castro. In the exergue below the scene of the Pieta, is a castellated building which probably depicts the compound of the Abbey. The art of niello reached its peak in 15th-century Italy in the workshop of the Florentine goldsmith Maso Finiguerra, and most niello-work was produced either in Florence or Bologna. The niello technique used in the present paten can be closely compared to an Italian niello plate of the Man of Sorrows, dated to circa 1475 in the British Museum (inv. no. 1845,0825.12).

More from Masterpieces from a Rothschild Collection

View All
View All