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Dish with the Sacrifice of Isaac

16th century
Artist/maker unknown, German

This dish was probably made in Nuremberg, Germany, where dish manufacturing was on such a large scale that a coalition of dish makers was organized to oversee quality. Nuremberg artists favored religious subject matter, but some pieces had purely ornamental decoration. This dish depicts the biblical story of Abraham attempting to follow God’s instruction to sacrifice his son, Isaac. After God stops Abraham, Abraham instead sacrifices a ram, seen on the left of the dish.


Although such brass dishes were well suited for display, they could also be used in conjunction with a pitcher or spouted bowl with a handle (called a laver or lavabo) for handwashing at mealtimes.

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Object Details

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