The Mildenhall Great Dish is coming to Ipswich! The British Museum have secured Arts Council funding to move 100 objects, objects selected by the public as part of 'The History of the World in 100 Objects' project, to provincial museums and galleries. Ipswich has been selected as the first location and the Mildenhall Dish the first piece to go out on loan as indicative support by the British Museum for the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £10m towards an Arts Quarter in Ipswich. The proposed Arts Complex comprises Ipswich Museum, the former Art School in High Street and the Wolsey Studio. The bid is further supported by the Saatchi Gallery in London which loaned nine objects for the opening exhibition in the Art School last year, with the possibility of a further exhibition later.
Permanently on display in the British Museum, the Great Dish is an exquisite piece of 4th century Roman silverware, almost two feet in diameter and decorated in low relief (embossed from behind) alluding to the worship of Bacchus on land and sea. This will be the first time the Great Dish has returned to Suffolk since it was found by an agricultural worker in 1942.
The British Museum hosted members of Colchester & Ipswich Museums Service (who were thanking donors to the fund for purchasing the former Art School), Ipswich Borough Council, our Society and other contributors at the launch of this second phase of 'The History of the World in 100 Objects'.