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Jug: C.70-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: Unknown (Perhaps)




Late Medieval maiolica jug, painted in manganese and green, with, originally, relief heads on the front and sides

Earthenware. The interior is lead-glazed yellowish-brown; the exterior is tin-glazed pale greyish-white. Painted in manganese and copper-green. Shape 10. Thickly potted bulbous body with vertical zone round the widest part, cylindrical neck with large pelican-beak spout, and wide strap handle composed of three rolls of clay pressed together and flattened.
The jug originally had relief heads on the front and sides, but only one of the latter remains. The vertical area is decorated with leaves, with two manganese bands below, and each side of the shoulder, with two panels filled with leaves and cross-hatching. On the neck, there are lanceolate leaves between two pairs of manganese bands; on the spout, manganese horizontal lines; and on the handle, three groups of manganese stripes alternating with two green, with three green below.


History note: Cavaliere Capitano Ferdinando Lucatelli , Orvieto by 1909; 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 16 (1) & pl. I. Purchased from Kerin, London, on 9 December 1933 by 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: 20.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Orvieto ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy
  • Todi ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


14th Century
Circa 1300 CE - 1400 CE


By 1909 the jug was in the collection of Cavaliere Capitano Ferdinando Lucatelli, who after leaving the army settled in Orvieto as a dealer in antiques. This jug can be seen in a photograph, now in the Biblioteca comunale, Orvieto. The relief face with the left side partly missing is clearly visible, the other of a man with a fringe appears to be that on the front. The masks visible in the illustration in the catalogue of the Marcioni-Lucatelli sale held by Sotheby's on 16-17 February 1914, were removed during a later restoration (C.71 and 72-1991) , possibly because they were believed not to belong to it.

This jug differs from typical `pelican beaked' jugs from Orvieto in having no neck wall behind the spout. This is a feature of jugs of this form found at Todi, such as two without reliefs in the Museo-Pinacoteca Comunale, so possibly it came from there rather than Orvieto. Like much medieval maiolica the jug has been reconstructed from fragments, at least eighteen are visible.

School or Style

maiolica arcaica

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( manganese and copper-green)
Interior composed of lead-glaze
Exterior composed of tin-glaze
Base Diameter 14.1 cm
Handle To Spout Width 24.5 cm

Materials used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.70-1991
Primary reference Number: 47691
Packing number: EURCER 959
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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