Nuremberg brass ‘alms dish’, gothic inscription, 16th century
Early brass alms dish, with broad rim and flat central roundel with spiral moulded petal boss, the base with a band of cast gothic script, a stamped scalloped border to the rim.
Nuremberg, 16th century
Condition: small tear to well with old repair, some wear, soldered with a hanger to back
These brass dishes were an every-day flatware for the well-to-do in Medieval times, used for food, or to hold the jug for hand-washing, and when not being used they were a display of wealth & status.
When they fell out of fashion in the later 17th century, they were often given to churches as collection plates- and the name ‘alms dishes’ has stuck.
They were made in several places in Europe, including Nuremberg and the Lowlands. are hand embossed. Nuremberg examples are generally found to have a cast inscription, while the Dutch examples are hand embossed.