Anorak News | Smut On A Plate

Smut On A Plate

by | 23rd, July 2002

‘NO SNIGGERING at the back, please. This is serious. The Telegraph tells of the perilous future facing an important erotic artefact from Roman times.


The artefact in question is a risqué ceramic plate from the rare school of bawdy Renaissance art. Its historical significance is up there with Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.

To the untrained – or very naïve – eye, the plate shows a face in profile with an earring and a hair-ribbon. But look closer, and you will see that, as the paper puts it, ‘the picture is made up entirely of phalluses’. And you don’t have to take their word for it: there’s a helpful colour picture to prove it.

And that’s not all. Follow the cryptic clue to read the inscription ‘as a Jew’ (ie, left to right as in Hebrew) and you will find that it reads: ‘Every man looks at me as if I was a head of dicks.’ Shocking but true.

‘It is both erotic and a joke,’ says Tim Wilson, keeper of Western art at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The museum is attempting to raise £250,000 to keep the smutty platter in this country.

And who can disagree that Francesco Urbini’s plate should stay in its spiritual home – the land of legendary seaside postcard artist Donald McGill and other distinguished exponents of erotic art?

Aesthetes from John O’Groats to Land’s End will be wringing their sweaty palms as they await its fate.

Posted: 23rd, July 2002 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink