A small Portuguese Palissy Ware wall plate, made by Manuel Mafra of Caldas da Rainha between the 1860s and 1880s. Manuel Cipriano Gomes Mafra (1829-1905) was a master of this style of rustic majolica pottery. He was greatly influenced by designs of the 16th century French potter Bernard Palissy, who pioneered a realistic style of design using relief moulded animals and fish; his influence can be seen very clearly in Mafra's designs.
This piece features three beautifully modelled lizards on a bed of moss made out of shredded clay, a characteristic of Mafra pieces. The piece is covered with rich majolica glazes. It is a smaller example than many of the Mafra pieces but is just as beautifully made. The base bears the impressed Mafra mark. There is also an unglazed patch on the back of the dish with a mark pressed into it - this may be the artist's mark or pattern number. There are two holes in the foot-rim of the dish to allow it to be hung on your wall.
The dish is in very good condition with just slight wear commensurate with its age.