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Jug: C.50-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: Unidentified Orvieto pottery (Probably)




Late Medieval maiolica jug, painted in black and green, with on the front a fleur-de-lis.

Earthenware. The interior, lower part, and base are lead-glazed brown; the rest is tin-glazed greyish-beige. Painted in black and copper-green.
Shape 11. Bulbous body with disk base, cylindrical neck, carinated rim, pinched spout and loop handle of D-section.
On the front there is a green fleur-de-lis outlined in black.


History note: Signor Avvocato Marcioni or Cavaliere Capitano Lucatelli; 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, lot 71 (1). William Ridout; Christie's, 13 December 1938, part of lot 105; H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

H.S. Reitlinger Bequest, 1950

Measurements and weight

Height: 17.0 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Orvieto ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1950) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


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


The fleur-de-lis occurs on medieval maiolica as a heraldic device on shields, or as an independent decorative motif. It was associated with the house of Anjou whose arms were azure semé-de-lis or differenced by a label of five points gules, and it would therefore have been an acceptable decorative motif on pottery used by Orvieto's Guelphs led by the Monaldeschi. However, its frequent use on Orvieto pottery during the late thirteenth, and fourteenth, century more probably reflects the fact that it was a charge on the shield of the Farnese (who were closely associated with Orvieto from the early twelfth century), and on those of the Montemarte, Marsciano, and Dolci families of Orvieto. When the complete arms are not shown, the fleur-de-lis is usually single so it is not possible to associate it with a specific family. The motif also occurs on maiolica from Lazio.

School or Style

maiolica arcaica

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Interior, Base composed of lead-glaze ( and lower part)
Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( black and copper-green)
Exterior composed of tin-glaze
Body Diameter 10.7 cm
Base Diameter 8.5 cm
Handle To Spout Width 13.7 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: circular with blue border

  • Text: 'WILLIAM RIDOUT COLLECTION' printed in blue, 'O/51.' in blue-black ink
  • Method of creation: Printed in blue and inscribed in blue-black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: brown tie-on

  • Text: 105/18
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in pencil
  • Type: Label
  • Text: 71
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in pencil
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.50-1991
Primary reference Number: 47481
Packing number: EURCER 900
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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