This dish bears the Italian family insignia of the Morosini family. Curiously this is on the back of the tray, suggesting that it was added as a mark of new ownership by the collector rather than the tray being commissioned by that family. Had the latter been the case, the crest would probably have been incorporated into the design, such as one in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (Inv.no.54.528, Sylvia Auld, Renaissance Venice, Islam and Mahmud the Kurd - A Metalworking Enigma, London, 2004, no.5.7, p.223).
The Morosinis were a Venetian family known to have a long standing connection with the Arab world. Deborah Howard mentions a certain Barbon Morosini who, in travelling to Damascus in 1514, wrote notes in his journal discussing the architecture, souvenirs and diplomatic gifts that he encountered (Deborah Howard, 'Venise et les Mamluks', in Venise et l'Orient 828-1797, Paris, 2007, pp.73-89). This salver was most probably gifted to Francesco Morosini a century later. Research carried out shows that the fleur-de-lys was bestowed upon three members of the Morosini family by the King of France for services rendered during their time as ambassadors to France. The most likely member of the family to have received the fleur-de-lys and engraved it on the crest of this dish is Giovanni Francesco Morosini (b.1538). A later member of the family, another Francesco Morosini, was a heroic figure from the Venetian resistance against the Ottoman army (1644-1669). For a short discussion on the form of this dish, and on another of its celebrated owners, please see the note to the preceding lot.