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Pizarro Commemorative Plate

Decorative Arts

This commemorative plate of Peruvian manufacture attests to a lively nineteenth-century revival of interest in the culture's colonial history—a phenomenon that paralleled a growing North American fascination wIth the indigenous cultures of Central and South America. Set within the formal coat of arms are portraits of the last Inca emperor Atahuallpa (on the left) and the Spaniard Don Francisco Pizarro, who led the conquest of Atahuallpa's Peru from 1532 to 1541. The inscription pays homage only to the conqueror, however, suggesting the degree to which the Spanish Invasion was accepted as an illustrious period in history even in the nineteenth century era of Peruvian independence.

MEDIUM Silver
  • Place Made: Peru
  • DATES 19th century
    DIMENSIONS Diameter: 15 3/4 in. (40 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed around the rim: "En Homenae al Gran Capinta Don Francisco Pizarro Conquistador de las Indias del Peru y Marques de los Atavillos. Cuzco ano 1541" [translation: In homage to the Great Captain Don Francisco Pizarro, Conqueror of the Indies of Peru and Marques of the Atavillos. Cuzco, year 1541]
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 42.14
    CREDIT LINE Carll H. de Silver Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Unknown Peruvian. Pizarro Commemorative Plate, 19th century. Silver, Diameter: 15 3/4 in. (40 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 42.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 42.14_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 42.14_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large silver basin made as a memorial to Francisco Pizarro. In the center is a coat of arms showing: Atahuallpa, the last Incan emperor (upper left), Pizarro (upper right), lion (lower left), tower (lower right). On the scalloped rim is an inscription in Spanish. There are ring handles in the form of clasped hands at each side. Condition: Good, see conservation report on file. Care should be taken in handling the object since the metal is severely distressed, especially in the central part. Evidence of old repairs inside and soldering of handles.
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