unknown artist
Spanish Colonial
Gift of the Robert Appleman family

Unknown artist, Platter, 1725-1750. Silver; 3 × 13¾ × 21 in. Gift of the Robert Appleman family, 1986.456.

height: 3 in, 7.6200 cm; width: 13.75 in, 34.9250 cm; depth: 21 in, 53.3400 cm
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Latin American Art

When the Spanish arrived in Peru in the early 1530s, they found that gold and silver were abundant and that the Indigenous peoples were highly skilled in working these precious metals. Silversmiths from Spain began to settle in Peru and introduced a system of workshops based on the guild model. They brought new forms, styles, and metalwork techniques with them. As a result, hybrid styles emerged. Artists reworked European ornamental repertoires by incorporating local elements developed in workshops across the Andes.


This deep rectangular tray with a wide border, exceptional for its size and weight, was made in Alto Peru, in present-day Bolivia. It exemplifies a type of dense, gaudy decoration that often includes classical putti and a green man—a half human with leaves emanating from its lower body—as well as representations of local flora and fauna, in this case, sunflowers, birds, owl, deer, and a boar intertwined with vines and leaves. The decoration surrounds a nude youth wearing a camel-hair robe and holding a staff in his hand, attributes which identify him as John the Baptist.


Jorge F. Rivas Pérez, Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Latin American Art

Known Provenance
Gifted 31 December 1986 to the Denver Art Museum by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Appleman. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • “ReVision: Art in the Americas” — Denver Art Museum, 10/24/2021 – 7/17/2022