If you happened to see paintings depicting the great and typical Renaissance banquets, you have certainly noticed the presence of bowls.
No meals, but just bowls filled with water.
Well, have you ever wondered what they were?
To wash your hands.
Exact, in Renaissance they washed their hands at the table, with meals.
Although the habit had spread in many countries to use cutlery indeed, especially in the upper grades, It was still quite frequently used to nibble food with fingers.
Here because, between one course and the other, It took over the need to wipe your hands.
At the wealthiest families, these bowls consisted often in small artistic masterpieces of great value and sophistication.
Almost always they were silver, smooth or finely inlaid, of different sizes and weight.
On the long tables laden he could find more than one and, to make scented water, is used several essences.
I rose petals they were highly popular (see also http://www.pilloledistoria.it/10105/storia-moderna/tavola-fiorentino-del-rinascimento) (Photo gives: repubblica.it).