Museum Tucherschloss und Hirsvogelsaal, HI Kh 048
Majolica Plate with joint coat of arms Imhoff-Tucher-Letscher
Magnificent tableware made of intensely coloured Italian majolica was much sought after among the bourgeois elite in southern Germany. It often bore family coats of arms.
An arms of alliance appears in the well of this plate in bright blue painting, surrounded by a border of heart-shaped vines with lilies, putto heads and masks. This border must have originally been wider, as the flag was ground off at the edge and the decoration trimmed. Only a small group of Venetian majolica shows similarly closely intertwined ornaments on a light blue glaze, but the plate’s tendril pattern has not been found on any other piece yet. Its decoration on the base with fine spiral tendrils "alla porcellana", on the other hand, is frequently found.
The arms of alliance with the shield and crest of the Nuremberg patrician family Imhoff and the shields of the Tucher and Letscher families provides information about the patron: Hieronymus Imhoff (1518-1571) was married in his first marriage to Magdalena Tucher (1517-1544), daughter of Linhart II Tucher, the highest official of the imperial city at that time. In 1548 he married Barbara Letscher, who died in 1558. This period provides the time of origin for the piece, as Imhoff entered into a third marriage in the same year.
Hieronymus worked as a merchant for the Imhoff trading company in Venice. As recent sources show, he was not only a collector but also a dealer in Italian majolica.