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upper center on cartouche: SPARTAM QVAM NAC / TVS ES, HANC ORNA . / Johann Newdörffer Rechenmeister; lower center on band below shield, Lautensack's initials in monogram: HSL 1552; shield of arms for Johann Neudörffer: Azure two chevronels between three stars or; shield of arms for his wife, Katarina Nathan Sidelmann: azure, two halberts or, headed argent, crossed in saltire; shield with trademark of the Neudörffer family: argent, the 'merchant's mark' of Neudörffer azure [1]

Inscription Notes

[1] Wendy M. Watson, Italian Renaissance Maiolica from the William A. Clark Collection, exh. cat. (11 venues), London and Washington, 1986: 150. The plate is part of a service made for Johann Neudorffer (1497-1563), a resident of Nuremberg who gained great renown as a calligrapher and teacher of arithmetic, geometry, and related disciplines. He was the author of the first German art historical book, a collection of biographies of Nuremberg's artists, published in 1547, three years before the publication in Italy of Vasari's Lives of the Artists. The motto in the cartouche is a Latin translation of a line from a lost play by Euripides, Telephus. Agamemnon speaks the line to Menelaus: "You got Sparta, adorn that." The words are quoted in a 10th century dictionary known as the Suda, and are interpreted there as follows: "It seems to me that I shall bear my fate calmly and myself adorn my Sparta, since I believe that this is the challenge that has been made to my life, if I do not desert Philosophy even when she fails."


Oskar Hainauer [1840-1894], Berlin; by inheritance to his widow, Julie Hainauer [1850-1926], Berlin; purchased 1906 with the entire Hainauer collection by (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris); sold 17 October 1906 to William Andrews Clark [1839-1925], New York;[1] bequest 1926 to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; acquired 2014 by the National Gallery of Art.

Exhibition History

Marvels of Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics from the Corcoran Gallery of Art Collection, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida; Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh; Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids; Hillstrom Museum of Art, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota; Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, 9 April 2004 - 18 June 2006, no. 22.
Treasures of European Decorative Art and Sculpture, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 25 August 2007 - 29 March 2009, no catalogue.
Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints into Maiolica and Bronze, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2018, no. 50


Bode, Wilhelm von, ed. Die Sammlung Oscar Hainauer / The Collection of Oscar Hainauer. [bound as one volume, English and German pages interleaved in one page sequence] Berlin, 1897 and London, 1906: 39, 117, no. 348 (M68).
Carroll, Dana H. Catalogue of Objects of Fine Art and Other Properties at the Home of William Andrews Clark, 962 Fifth Avenue. Part II. Unpublished manuscript, n.d. (1925): 262, no. 68.
Breckenridge, James D. "Italian Maiolica in the W.A. Clark Collection." The Corcoran Gallery of Art Bulletin 7, no. 3 (April 1955): no. 97.
Von Erdberg, Joan Prentice. "Italian Maiolica at the Corcoran Gallery of Art." The Burlington Magazine 97, no. 624 (March 1955): 74.
Watson, Wendy M. Italian Renaissance Maiolica from the William A. Clark Collection. Exh. cat. (11 venues). London and Washington, 1986: 148-150, no. 58, repro.

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