Traditional Italian crafts include laces, mosaics, leather work, quilting, and wood inlay, but I was interested in pottery, specifically majolica. I inherited one small majolica plate that prompted the search for information.
The name 'majolica' (maiolica) comes from the Spanish island of Majorca where ships carrying lusterware from Valencia stopped on their way to Italy. Italian majolica is earthenware with an opaque white tin oxide glaze. Its most outstanding feature is the beautiful, colorful decoration which never fades. Majolica is usually associated with the Renaissance when it hit its aesthetic peak, but it has been produced in Italy since about 1350 and is still produced today.
|Circa 1890 Ginori plate|
Recently sold at Xupes
Italian Ceramics from the Middle Ages to the Present
Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche
"History of Italian Ceramics"
Italian Pottery Outlet website
Renaissance Maiolica: Painted Pottery for Shelf and Table
Overview on The Met website of an exhibition that just closed in July