This large and heavy [weight 5.2 pounds] alms dish is of the early form designated as “Omphalos” in “Nuremberg Alms Dishes” by Klaus Tiedemann, 2015, The only book we have found devoted to the subject. The Metropolitan Museum displays a number of similar examples at The Cloisters and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam has a large collection. While they are regularly called alms dishes the actual original use seems to still be discussed. They do show up in early German interior scene paintings positioned as reflectors behind candles or lamps.
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