Plaque, Minerva

WB.35     about 1560–70 • Painted enamel on copper • plaque

Minerva is the classical goddess of Wisdom.

Curator's Description

Painted Limoges enamel plaque; copper, oval; concave with a moulded rim; standing figure of an allegorical figure of wisdom, Minerva?, holding a mirror and stick with a snake; at her feet, another snake and an owl sitting upon two books and a quill pen; in background, a hamlet and outskirts of a town; painted in semi-opaque enamels over a white preparation with translucent enamels over coloured foils and grisaille with flesh tones; details produced by enlevage, painted on foils, white highlights or gilding; counter enamel translucent with liverish flux.

This object was collected and bequeathed to the British Museum by Ferdinand Anselm Rothschild.

How big is it?

23.1 cm wide, 35 cm high, 2 cm deep, and it weighs 667g

Detailed Curatorial Notes

Provenance: None is recorded.


  • Charles Hercules Read, 'The Waddesdon Bequest: Catalogue of the Works of Art bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, M.P., 1898', London, 1902, no. 35
  • O.M. Dalton, 'The Waddesdon Bequest', 2nd edn (rev), British Museum, London, 1927, no.35.
  • References

    1. Read 1902: Read, Charles Hercules, The Waddesdon Bequest. Catalogue of the Works of Art Bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, M.P., 1898, London, BMP, 1902
    2. Dalton 1927: Dalton, Ormonde Maddock, The Waddesdon Bequest : jewels, plate, and other works of art bequeathed by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild., London, BMP, 1927
    3. Scrase handlist: Scrase handlist

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