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Jug: C.29-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: Unidentified Orvieto pottery




Late Medieval, maiolica jug, painted in black and green with a shield on each side.

Buff earthenware; the interior and the lower part of the exterior lead-glazed yellowish-brown; the rest thinly tin-glazed ivory. Painted in black and copper-green.
Shape 7. Ovoid with flat base, short cylindrical neck, applied folded spout and broad strap handle.
On each side within a green border, is a black-outlined shield charged with a fess vert.


History note: Signor Avvocato Arcangelo Marcioni (1859-1928) or Cavaliere Capitano Ferdinando Lucatelli, Orvieto ; Sotheby's, 16-17 February 1914, Catalogue of the collections of early Italian pottery formed by Signor Avvocato Marcioni and Cavaliere Capitano Lucatelli of Orvieto, 16 February 1914, lot 11 (3). William Ridout; Christie's, 13 December 1938, part of lot 104; H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

H.S. Reitlinger Bequest, 1950; transferred from the Reitlinger Trust, 1991

Measurements and weight

Height: 17.0 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Orvieto ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1991-04-29) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


13th Century
14th Century
Circa 1250 CE - 1350 CE


Coats-of-arms occur less frequently on Orvieto maiolica than plant and geometrical ornament, but are nevertheless common on both jugs and bowls. The number of noble families in Orvietan territory was relatively small; forty-eight were recorded in 1322 of whom about twenty-seven were probably resident in the city itself. Pottery might also have been decorated with the arms of the podestà or capitano del popolo who was appointed from outside Orvieto. With some exceptions, the identification of the arms is problematic, because only two colours were used, and potters may not have shown the arms correctly. Their inaccuracy was probably the reason for the decree in 1378 prohibiting Orvieto potters from decorating vessels with arms, except at the wish of their possessor.

It is impossible to be sure because of the restricted colouring, but the arms on the jug may be those of the Baglioni family, azure a fess or (blue with a gold horizontal band)

School or Style

maiolica arcaica

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( black and copper-green)
Interior composed of lead-glaze
Part Exterior composed of tin-glaze
Body Diameter 11.8 cm
Base Diameter 7.3 cm
Handle To Spout Width 13.3 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: circular with blue border

  • Text: 'WILLIAM RIDOUT COLLECTION' printed in blue 'O.60.' inscribed in ink
  • Method of creation: Printed in blue and inscribed in blue-black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: rectangular brown tie-on

  • Text: 104/20
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Label
  • Text: 11/
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: In pencil
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.29-1991
Primary reference Number: 47368
Packing number: EURCER 903
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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