This large silver basin is a masterpiece of the silversmith’s art using many different techniques. It has been embossed, chased, and engraved with marine imagery taken from two famous engravings by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau the Elder (c.1512– 86). One can imagine well-to-do diners dipping their fingers into the sweet-smelling rosewater, and taking a moment to feel the raised work and to look down at the mythical sea-creatures cavorting in the real and fictively rendered water.
Unknown silversmith, Paris, France, 1559– 60
Silver, with later gilding L.D. Cunliffe Bequest, 1937 (M/P.9-1938)