- Museum number
Broad shallow bowl of earthenware, the interior has a presumed tin-glaze and is painted in green and manganese with an elaborate interlace pattern on a cross-hatched ground. Four of the squares within the interlace are filled by trefoils and four of the ropes of interlace terminate at the edge of the bowl in crowned female (?) heads. The sides have a cable pattern around them. The outside, underside and part of the base have a brownish glaze.
- Production date
Diameter: 33.50 centimetres
Height: 8.90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Jones 1990
Italian 'Renaissance' maiolica
From the 1830s onwards Italian Renaissance maiolica became increasingly popular with collectors, and prices rose sharply throughout the century, creating a market for fakes. At the same time the spirit of Risorgimento nationalism in Italy brought with it a desire to recreate the glories of Renaissance art. Well into the present century the creation of original maiolica in Renaissance style coexisted with the production of deceptive forgeries, and these two strands are sometimes hard to disentangle.
This bowl, acquired by the British Museum in 1913 as an example of medieval maiolica from excavations in Orvieto, north of Rome, is considerably more convincing than registration no. OA.9180. A similar piece formerly in Berlin, destroyed in the Second World War, may have been the original from which it was copied or another fake.
Literature: S. Petri, 'Le fasi delle ceramica faentina in una preziosa raccolta', Bollettino dell'antiquario I, no. 2 (April 1920), pp. 7-8; B. Rackham, 'Recent accessions to the maiolica at South Kensington', Burlington Magazine 50 (1927), pp. 258-60; Luigi Serra, 'In memoriam Ferruccio Mengaroni', Emporium 61 (1925), pp. 309-10; Gaetano Ballardini, Maestro Ferruccio Mengaroni, Collana di studi d'arte ceramica 5, Faenza 1929.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number