Inkstand with The Nativity
Attributed to Giovanni di Nicola di Manzoni dal Colle Tuscany, Colle Val d’Elsa, c.1509–10 tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)
A household object such as this inkstand allowed its owner to recall the Holy Family while writing or doing accounts. In the colourful rustic scene, watched by Joseph and the animals, Mary adores the baby Jesus, who lies naked and motionless on a cloth like a corpse, as if to foretell his eventual death.
Cambridge, The Fitzwilliam Museum, C.2179-1928
Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest