Europe, Italy or Spain, ca. 15th to 16th century CE. A matching pair of Majolica (also spelled Maiolica) pottery vessels presenting sinous silhouettes and hand painted with a coat of arms comprised of a profile bust of a knight donning a handsome helmet with elegant feathered plumes in profile above an elaborate crest containing a pair of lions flanking a tree supported by a feline-like gargoyle beneath, all in stunning cobalt blue, golden yellow, and spring green hues. Size: both measure approximately 4.25" in diameter x 8" H (10.8 cm x 20.3 cm)
A bit more on the technique and history of Majolica wares: According to a reputable Italian pottery journal, "Majolica – also spelled Maiolica – is the beautiful ware prepared by tin-glazing earthenware and firing it a second time. After the first firing, the bisque is dipped into a bath of fast drying liquid glaze. When dry, the glazed piece is ready to be hand painted. A final firing at 1690° Fahrenheit will make the glaze interact with the metal oxides used by the painter to create the deep and brilliant translucent colors specific to majolica.
This technique originates in the Middle East in the 9th century. By the 13th century majolica ware was imported into Italy through the Isle of Majorca, headquarter of the trade between Spain and Italy. The Italians called it Maiolica, erroneously thinking it was made in Majorca. They were fascinated by this new way of making ceramics and soon started to copy the process, adapting it by their own creativity and traditions. The rise of Italian majolica in Europe was fast and reached its peak of artistic quality throughout central Italy during the Renaissance – late 15th and early 16th centuries.
Nowadays, in English the word Majolica is used to refer to ceramic ware in the stylistic tradition of the Italian Renaissance." (http://www.thatsarte.com/blog/highlights/the-difference-between-pottery-ceramics-and-majolica-with-special-regard-to-italian-ceramics/)
Provenance: Ex- Private Washington State Collection
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