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In your search: Maiolica

Maker(s) &

Unidentified Orvieto pottery, pottery, possibly, Italy, Umbria, Orvieto
Unidentified Tuscan pottery, pottery, possibly, Italy, Tuscany


tin-glazed earthenware


two-handled bowl
maiolica; category
maiolica arcaica; category


circa 1275 1375


maiolica arcaica


13th Century; 14th Century; Medieval


Maiolica two-handled bowl, painted in manganese and green with, on the inside, a peacock.
Reddish-buff earthenware, the interior and handles tin-glazed greyish-white, the exterior lead-glazed pale brownish-yellow, which has run over onto the base. Painted in dark manganese and copper-green.
Shape 34. Circular with deep sides, curving outwards from the base and then upwards almost vertically to the flat projecting rim; two small broad strap handles on opposing sides.
Inside, a peacock faces in profile to right with its tail folded, and its body and wings decorated with rosettes, one of which forms its eye. On the right there is a stylised plant with a lobed leaf and two flowers, similar to the motifs on the bird. Above its head, a tendril sprouts from the edge of the border, and by its beak there is a circular stylised flower. The sides are decorated with a row of green reversed Ss, with two black horizontal bands below and one above, and the rim with alternating groups of manganese and green radiating stripes.


throwing; body
lead-glazing; exterior
tin-glazing; interior, handles
painting; decoration


earthenware; whole
lead-glaze; exterior
tin-glaze; interior, handles
high-temperature colours; decoration; dark manganese and copper-green


reddish-buff earthenware; the interior and handles tin-glazed greyish-white, the exterior lead-glazed pale brownish-yellow, which has run over onto the base; painted in dark manganese and copper-green.


height, whole, 11.5, cm
diameter, foot, 16.8, cm
diameter, rim, 30.4, cm
width, whole, 35.8, cm


bequeathed; 1927; Harris, F. Leverton, The Right Hon.


Elia Volpi, Florence; Durlacher Brothers, London, from whom purchased in November 1920 by F. Leverton Harris.


Volpi, Elia; previous owner
Harris, Frederick Leverton; previous owner


From its provenance, this bowl may have been among pieces acquired by Volpi in Orvieto, but it does not conform strictly to any of the published Orvieto profiles. The decoration of the rim and sides, and the stylised flowerheads on the plants and peacock's body, however, are analogous to those on other pieces with a secure provenance.

Acquisition Credit:

F. Leverton Harris Bequest, 1926


Italian Maiolica in the Fitzwilliam Museum. 1995-10-03 - 1996-01-07
Organiser: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.), UK
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.)
Notes: Case 2, top, no. 19
Catalogue number: no catalogue


Borenius, Tancred. 1931. The Leverton Harris Collection.London: Privately printed
Publ. pl. XIV, lower shelf at back to right of centre

Poole, Julia E.. 1995. Italian Maiolica and Incised Slipware in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge.Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Pressp. pp. 71-72
Publ. pp. 71-72, no. 119

Rackham, Bernard. 1935. Guide to the European Pottery and Porcelain in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge.Cambridge (Cambs.): The Fitzwilliam Museum
Publ. pl. 12, lower shelf

Bellini, Mario. Conti, Giovanni. 1964. Maioliche italiane del Rinascimento.Milan: p. p. 48
Cf. The stylized flowerheads on the plants and peacock's body resemble those on a large dish decorated with a queen which was found at Orvieto, p. 48, C.

Satolli, Alberto. 1990. Orvieto, il Palazzo del Popolo e i suoi restauri.Orvieto: Bollettino dell'Instituto Storico Artistico Orvietanap. pp. 153, 158-9
Cf. The stylized flowerheads on the plants and peacock's body resemble those on fragments from a 'butto' of the Palazzo del Popolo, p. 153, fig. 189, pp. 158-9, fig. 211.


Object Number: C.82-1927
(Applied Arts)
(record id: 47273; input: 2002-05-03; modified: 2016-08-11)


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