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An upturned plate made of intricate curling leaves and a central scene of violence.

A gold plate which mostly consists of acanthus leaves, forming an organic mesh which can be seen through in some places. At the center there is an oval-shaped scene with three figures. On the left there is a man with long hair who kneels, pointing a bow and arrow towards the other two figures, one of whom is a centaur who twists his body around to hold a woman on his horse back. Her arms are up and her legs flail as though she is trying to escape his hold.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Jacob Bodendeich, German (Lüneburg 1633 - 1681 London)
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Tray
Former Title: Sideboard Dish
Work Type
1676- 1677
Creation Place: Europe, United Kingdom, England, London
Persistent Link


Level 2, Room 2340, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, The Silver Cabinet: Art and Ritual, 1600–1850
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Physical Descriptions

Silver, gilt
34.9 x 44.8 x 3.5 cm (13 3/4 x 17 5/8 x 1 3/8 in.)
1072 g
Inscriptions and Marks
  • hallmark: struck twice on rim: lion passant, leopard's head, date letter
  • maker's mark: struck twice on rim: IB [with pellets and crescent below] [Jacob Bodendeich, Jackson, p. 128, line 1]


Recorded Ownership History
Dame Mabel Brookes, D.B.E., sold [through Christie's, London, March 31, 1971, lot 124]. Private Collector, Australia. [Koopman Rare Art, Ltd., London], sold; to Harvard Art Museums, 2003.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Paul Clarke Stauffer Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Oval, elaborately embossed and chased in high relief with an oval scene depicting Hercules drawing his bow on the centaur Nessus, who carries away his wife Deianira, enclosed by a broad border pierced and chased with large flowers amid foliate scrolls.

This dish is an example of highly decorated silver popular in London during the Restoration period. Such spectacular objects were made solely for display, to demonstrate the wealth and prestige of the owner. Most were the work of immigrant craftsmen from continental Europe, and this example bears the mark of the German-born goldsmith Jacob Bodendeich. The central scene, illustrating a passage in Ovid's "Metamorphoses," is derived from a frequently republished mid-sixteenth-century engraving by Bernard Solomon. Bodendeich, who worked in the tradition of bold floral and auricular chasing and molding, evidently ran a sizeable workshop. The differences in handling of various parts of this dish suggest that more than one goldsmith contributed to its realization.

Publication History

  • Robert C. Moeller III, "An English Silver Tray by Jacob Bodendick", Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1975), p. 11, repr. p. 14, fig. 9
  • Ellenor M. Alcorn, English Silver in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Volume I - Silver Before 1697, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1993), p. 145
  • Eric J.G. Smith, "Jacob Bodendick", The Silver Society Journal, The Silver Society (London, Autumn 2001), no. 24, p. 78
  • Eric J.G. Smith, "Jacob Bodendeich", The Silver Society Journal, The Silver Society (London, 2002), 14, pp. 114-115 , repr. no. 22
  • "Acquisition Highlights", Harvard University Art Museums Annual Report (2005), pp. 20-35, p. 24, repr. in color
  • Christopher Hartop, British and Irish Silver in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge, Mass. and New Haven, 2007), pp. 66-68, cat. no. 31, repr. in on p. 67, details repr. on p. 67.
  • Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), p. 105, repr.

Exhibition History

  • Re-View: S424-426 Western Art from 1560 to 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011
  • 32Q: 2340 Cabinet Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 09/24/2019; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/25/2019 - 12/31/2024

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

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