If I were to say that the Aldobrandini Tazze ("cups"/"bowls") were my favourite pieces of Renaissance metalwork it would be a bit of a lie -- but only in the sense that I really can't claim to know any other pieces very well. But since my Mellon lectures a couple of years ago (on images of Roman emperors in post-antique art) they have been firm friends.
They are a set (or originally were a set) of 12 bowls -- originally silver, now silver gilt -- made in the late 16th century, each featuring one of Suetonius' Twelve Caesars. A screw on (named) emperor fits into the centre of the bowl -- which features 4 scenes, drawn from Suetonius, from that emperor's life. They were once kept together (as intended), but were broken up in the nineteenth century and have gone their separate ways, some substantially reworked. When I was preparing my Mellons, I went to see the one in the V and A (that's him in the picture), supposed to be the figure of Domitian on his bowl with the four scenes. On the right you can see what the scenes look like close up (this is Vespasian healing the lame and the blind).
It didn't take long face to face (in the company of the V and A curators plus Tazze expert, Tim Schroder) to see that , although the figure in the middle was named Domitian, the scenes of the bowl -- long assumed to be him too -- could not possibly be so.