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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

18: Ewer with personification of the virtues and fruit

This ewer is decorated with four oval medallions containing female personifications of Faith, Hope, and Charity (the three Theological Virtues) and Fortitude (one of the four Cardinal Virtues). They were presumably included as moral exemplars to diners and intended to provoke ‘virtuous’ discussions. The rest of the ewer has less high-brow decoration relating, appropriately, both to water and food in the form of water-fowl and ripe fruit.

Unknown silversmith, Paris, France, 1585 – 6, possibly after designs by Étienne Delaune (1519/19 – 83)

Silver gilt

L.D. Cunliffe Bequest, 1937 (M/P.10-1938)

Ewer with personification of the virtues and fruit
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