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Jug: C.47-1927

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: Unidentified Orvieto pottery




Late-medieval maiolica jug, partly lead-glazed and partly tin-glazed and painted in black and green with a coat-of arms flanked by applied pine cones

Pinkish-buff earthenware (little visible); the interior is lead-glazed yellowish-brown; the exterior is tin-glazed pale beige. Painted in black and green. Shape 19. Squat piriform body with short cylindrical neck, expanding towards the rim which is pinched at the front to form a lip; loop handle of shallow D section.
The front is decorated with a relief shield bearing a saddle-backed boar and above it the letters `A' (or `R') and `n', between two relief pine-cones. On each side of the handle there are oblique dashes between vertical black lines. Below are two horizontal black bands; on the neck, a green chain with two black bands above; and on the handle, horizontal stripes of alternate colours.


History note: Presumed excavated in Orvieto; Elia Volpi, Florence; Durlacher Brothers, London, from whom purchased in November 1920 by F. Leverton Harris.

Legal notes

F. Leveton Harris Bequest, 1926

Measurements and weight

Height: 12.4 cm
Width: 10.6 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Orvieto ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1927) by Harris, F. Leverton, The Right Hon.


13th Century
14th Century
Circa 1275 CE - 1375 CE


Although the animals which occur in shield-shaped and oval panels on the front of jugs of this form are heraldic, it is not clear whether they were intended for arms or not. It is possible that some were crests, such as the eagle, stag, dog, and snake representing branches of the Monaldeschi of Orvieto. A shield charged with a saddle-backed boar and the initials 'A' (or 'R') and 'D' above was identified tentatively by Otto Mazzucato as that of the Cancellieri family.

School or Style

maiolica arcaica

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( copper-green and black)
Interior composed of lead-glaze
Exterior composed of tin-glaze
Body Diameter 10.2 cm
Base Diameter 7.1 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: a n
  • Location: On front
  • Method of creation: Painted in black
  • Type: Initials

Inscription present: or 78

  • Text: 18
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: In black
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.47-1927
Primary reference Number: 47233
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Jug" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-17 11:16:40

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