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Two-handled bowl: C.137-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unidentified Orvieto pottery (Probably)
Maker: Unidentified Tuscan pottery (Possibly)




Late Medieval maiolica two-handled bowl, painted in manganese and blue with, on the inside a double-armed cross and cross-hatching.

Pale buff earthenware. The exterior and base are lead-glazed pale brown; the interior is tin-glazed pale grey. Painted in manganese and blue.
Shape 39. Circular with flat base, sloping sides, narrow flat rim and two wide strap handles with a thumb print at the top.
Inside, within two manganese concentric circles, there is a double-armed cross with cross-hatching and three scalloped lines between the arms; on the sides, blue criss-crosses and a manganese band.


History note: William Ridout; Christie's, 13 December 1938, The William Ridout collection of Italian majolica, European pottery, faience and delftware, lot 107; 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: 9.7 cm
Width: 34.0 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Orvieto ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


14th Century
15th Century#
Circa 1350 CE - 1425 CE


Decoration in cobalt blue and manganese (maiolica arcaica blu) on tin-glazed earthenware was introduced in central Italy during the second half of the fourteenth century. One of the earliest examples is a jug found in the vault of the loggia of the Town Hall at Montalcino (Tuscany) thought to have been built during the second quarter of the century. The earliest documentary evidence for blue decoration in Florence cited by Cora (1973) was in 1360.

The form of this bowl is comparable to examples decorated in green and manganese from Umbria, such as one given to the British Museum by H.S. Reitlinger

School or Style

maiolica arcaica blu

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( manganese and blue)
Exterior, Base composed of lead-glaze
Interior composed of tin-glaze
Base Diameter 18.8 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: circular with blue border

  • Text: 'WILLIAM RIDOUT COLLECTION' printed in blue, 'O/99' in blue-black ink
  • Method of creation: Printed in blue and inscribed in blue-black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: brown tie-on

  • Text: 107/17
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in pencil
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.137-1991
Primary reference Number: 48040
Packing number: EURCER 457
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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