Placentarius Tray

Designed by:  Anonimo Pompeiano
Manufactured by:  Alessi

The project for this rectangular tray is derived from a small bronze known as the Placentarius, which was found in 1925 by Amedeo Maiuri in the Casa dell'Efebo in Pompei and which is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Naples.  The small bronze statue represents a distinctly ithyphallic old nude man who, on the palm of his hand, holds a little silver tray measuring 14.3 by 8.8 cm.  It was found in four mirror-image pairs: it was most likely a decorative set for Roman tables, designed to hold appetizers.  With the collaboration of Almerico De Angelis and Umberto Pappalardo of the University of Naples, we reconstructed the original tray that the creator of the statues had evidently taken as reference for his miniaturization.  Considering the golden section (1:0,618) between the two sides of the rectangle, we presume that it must have been about 60 cm (two Roman feet) long and about 36 cm wide: just about the size of a pizza-maker's baking tin (placenta was a rustic flat bread mentioned by Cato, and placountarioi were an association of pastry-makers referred to by Arsinoe of Egypt in A.D. 2).  In the original, the ornamental relief of elegant floral volutes was presumably obtained by hammered embossing and finished with burin engraving, the same techniques that are still used in silversmithing today.  Our challenge was to bring the project up to date with the latest technology, making it in a metal more characteristic of our age: stainless steel, and with industrial manufacturing techniques: metal forming and blanking.  Manufactured by Alessi.

Designed in 1997.
22.5" W, 14" D
$240.00
Designed by:  Anonimo Pompeiano
Manufactured by:  Alessi

The project for this rectangular tray is derived from a small bronze known as the Placentarius, which was found in 1925 by Amedeo Maiuri in the Casa dell'Efebo in Pompei and which is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Naples.  The small bronze statue represents a distinctly ithyphallic old nude man who, on the palm of his hand, holds a little silver tray measuring 14.3 by 8.8 cm.  It was found in four mirror-image pairs: it was most likely a decorative set for Roman tables, designed to hold appetizers.  With the collaboration of Almerico De Angelis and Umberto Pappalardo of the University of Naples, we reconstructed the original tray that the creator of the statues had evidently taken as reference for his miniaturization.  Considering the golden section (1:0,618) between the two sides of the rectangle, we presume that it must have been about 60 cm (two Roman feet) long and about 36 cm wide: just about the size of a pizza-maker's baking tin (placenta was a rustic flat bread mentioned by Cato, and placountarioi were an association of pastry-makers referred to by Arsinoe of Egypt in A.D. 2).  In the original, the ornamental relief of elegant floral volutes was presumably obtained by hammered embossing and finished with burin engraving, the same techniques that are still used in silversmithing today.  Our challenge was to bring the project up to date with the latest technology, making it in a metal more characteristic of our age: stainless steel, and with industrial manufacturing techniques: metal forming and blanking.  Manufactured by Alessi.

Designed in 1997.
22.5" W, 14" D
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Alessi Placentarius Tray
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Designed by:  Anonimo Pompeiano
Manufactured by:  Alessi

The project for this rectangular tray is derived from a small bronze known as the Placentarius, which was found in 1925 by Amedeo Maiuri in the Casa dell'Efebo in Pompei and which is now housed in the Archaeological Museum of Naples.  The small bronze statue represents a distinctly ithyphallic old nude man who, on the palm of his hand, holds a little silver tray measuring 14.3 by 8.8 cm.  It was found in four mirror-image pairs: it was most likely a decorative set for Roman tables, designed to hold appetizers.  With the collaboration of Almerico De Angelis and Umberto Pappalardo of the University of Naples, we reconstructed the original tray that the creator of the statues had evidently taken as reference for his miniaturization.  Considering the golden section (1:0,618) between the two sides of the rectangle, we presume that it must have been about 60 cm (two Roman feet) long and about 36 cm wide: just about the size of a pizza-maker's baking tin (placenta was a rustic flat bread mentioned by Cato, and placountarioi were an association of pastry-makers referred to by Arsinoe of Egypt in A.D. 2).  In the original, the ornamental relief of elegant floral volutes was presumably obtained by hammered embossing and finished with burin engraving, the same techniques that are still used in silversmithing today.  Our challenge was to bring the project up to date with the latest technology, making it in a metal more characteristic of our age: stainless steel, and with industrial manufacturing techniques: metal forming and blanking.  Manufactured by Alessi.

Designed in 1997.
22.5" W, 14" D

Alessi

Founded in 1921, Alessi is one of Italy’s leading manufacturers of home accessories, collaborating with designers and architects to create functional objects that are designed to delight and often challenge preconceived notions of how an object can look. Alessi began as a producer of brass and nickel sheet metal and by the 1950s had repositioned itself as a specialist in manipulating stainless steel. By the 1970s and 1980s, Alessi was collaborating with Ettore Sottsass, Aldo Rossi, Achille Castiglioni, Michael Graves, Phillipe Starck, and Richard Sapper – creating design icons that are still produced today.  Today Alessi works with hundreds of artists, industrial designers, and architects to create its core collection – flatware, dinnerware, glassware, cookware, office, clocks, watches, and virtually every type of tabletop or kitchen accessory imaginable. Supplementing its vast core offering, Alessi presents two seasonal collections every year that highlight new designers and typologies. Alessi’s designs are included in the permanent collections of museums worldwide. Switch Modern not only shows well over 1,000 Alessi designs on our website, we also have the same commitment to stocking and presentation in our large Alessi-branded store in Atlanta.