Venus is currently reserved pending research but our piece caused “a bit of a buzz” said the Haineses – who told us about another item in their stock at the centre catching the eye: the oval plate above.
John said: “We bought the piece five years ago at the Parma Antique Fair. It is an Italian majolica charger known as the Rossetti plate. The handpainted image on the front closely resembles Rossetti’s masterpiece Dante’s Dream, first painted in 1856. It is unsigned and undated and if anyone has one that is, we would love to hear from you.”
The Birmingham Museums and Art Galleries collections includes a dish titled Dante’s Dream. Dated c.1890, it is described as earthenware, tinglazed, painted with colours and lustre. The dish is decorated with a scene from the oil painting Dante’s Dream (1870-71) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, which is in the collection of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
Another version of Rossetti’s allegorical masterpiece is held in the Tate Collections. Titled Dante’s Dream at the Time of the Death of Beatrice, the watercolour is dated 1856.