A maiolica dis, £4400 at Amersham Auction Rooms.

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The Castel Durante or Venetian istoriato dish with fluted edge and raised foot – a form popular c.1550 known as a crespina – came for sale at Amersham Auction Rooms (17.5% buyer’s premium) in Buckinghamshire on August 5.

To the base is an inscription, Abisag puella pulehra seni David’s frigido datur que eum dormiente calefaciat, that identifies the unusual scene as the Old Testament tale of Abishag, a beautiful young woman of Shunem chosen to be a ‘servant’ to King David in his old age.

The dish, in generally good condition save some rim chipping, was estimated as a revivalist piece at just £100-200 but sold at £4400 to a buyer via