A bronze plaque depicting the story of St Dominic and the Rosary to be sold this week

A bronze plaque depicting the story of St Dominic and the Rosary is to be sold by auctioneers in Dorset.

The 400-year-old Italian bronze plaque will be auctioned off on Thursday by Duke’s Auctioneers, Dorchester.

The plaque, measuring 11 inches by nine inches, tells the story of the introduction of the Rosary to the Catholic faith. The scene depicts the Virgin and Child distributing rosaries while St Dominic, holding a rosary in each hand, preaches from a pulpit.

The 16th century bronze plaque is almost certainly by a Venetian sculptor. Venice was the centre for production of work of this type and the location of many wealthy merchants who funded the developments in the arts at this time. Despite the fact that the plaque dates from around 1580 to 1590, it is said to be in remarkably good condition.

Matthew Denney, auctioneer at Duke’s, says: “Though we are used to seeing antiques, it is still always very exciting to see items that are quite this old, and to see them in such good condition.

“The deep, even patination to the bronze and the cast really emphasises the detail of the scene portrayed. This, coupled with the estimate of £600 to £1,200, is sure to generate a great deal of interest amongst collectors of 16th century theological art.”