An enamelled alms dish with fleurs-de-lys and arabesque ornaments.

alms bowl, dish, fleurs-de-lys, Arts, Crafts, Middle Ages
Enamelled alms dish. 13th century.


Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages.

THIS beautiful example of early enameling formed part of the Bernal Collection, and is described in the Sale Catalogue, Lot 1289, as “A circular Alms-dish.”

The centre represents a young man on horseback, holding a hawk on his fist, the jesses hanging from his hand. Six female figures are seated in as many compartments around the central subject, the ground of all being covered with arabesque ornament.

The dish is of copper, and has been gilt; its side view is exhibited in the outline beneath, showing a portion of the fleurs-de-lys attached to the geometric pattern covering the under surface; this is engraved upon it in lines and dots, and will be more perfectly understood by the reduced representation below. The colored engraving (erroneously dated) is one-third less than the size of the original.

Source: Miscellanea graphica: representations of ancient, medieval, and renaissance remains in the possession of Lord Londesborough. Contributor: Frederick William Fairholt, 1857.


Note:  Ralph Barton. Sketch for a catalogue cover, c. 1918.

Leave a Reply

Auguste Racinet. The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu.

Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style. Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted.

Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail. “Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.” ―

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
by Virginia Postrel (Author)

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an “expansive” global history that highlights “how textiles truly changed the world” (Wall Street Journal)

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

FASHIONPEDIA is a visual fashion dictionary covering all the technical terms from style to material to production with illustrations and infographics. It encompasses rich, extensive information and yet is easy to read. Whether you are an industry insider or a fashion connoisseur, FASHIONPEDIA is all you will ever need to navigate the fashion scene.

Textilepedia. The Complete Fabric Guide.

The Textile Manual is an encyclopaedia of textile information, from material to yarn, from fabric structure to the finishing process. Encompassing practical tips for a range of textiles and detailed visuals, this ultra-accessible manual is the perfect companion for fashion aficionados and aspiring fashion designers.