Cain and Abel, the first children of Adam and Eve, were a crop farmer and a nomadic shepherd respectively. The first plaque is derived from an engraving (which as been variously attributed to Jean Cotelle and Jean Mariette) of a scene in Genesis; the moment when Cain attacked and killed his brother Abel in the fields. A Castelli maiolica two-handled tureen and cover, attributed to Liborio Grue and decorated with the same scene is illustrated together with the print source by Carola Fiocco, Gabriella Gherardi and Giuseppe Matricardi et al., Capolavori della Maiolica Castellana dal Cinquecento al Terzo Fuoco, La Collezione Matricardi, April - October 2012, Exhibition Catalogue, Pinacoteca Civica, Teramo, Turin, 2012, pp. 188-189, no.139. Another circular plaque in the Musée de Cluny painted with the same composition is illustrated by Jeanne Giacomotti, Catalogue des majoliques des musées nationaux, Paris, 1974, p. 481, no. 1420.
The second plaque illustrates the story of Daphne and Apollo from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Cupid spitefully fired a golden arrow at Apollo, arousing his desire for the nymph Daphne, but he fired a leaden arrow at Daphne, causing her to flee from Apollo's advances. Apollo pursued Daphne, who appealed for help from her father, the river god Peneus, who transformed her into a laurel tree.