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Fragment of a pentagonal tile from the Palazzo Petrucci, Siena: C.127-1927

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Fragment of a pentagonal tile from the Palazzo Petrucci, Siena


Maker: uncertain




Cream earthenware, tin-glazed on the upper surface. Painted in dark blue, green, yellow, orange, brownish-red, and, on the border tile, black.
Pentagonal with part of the right and left sides chipped off.
The main field has a yellow ground decorated with grotesques: a vase and a mask on a pole between addorsed griffins seated on a bowl, flanked by foliated scrolls. The border comprises a narrow row of oval and circular beads, and a wider row of egg and dart ornament.


History note: Purportedly purchased in Siena by F. Leverton Harris.

Legal notes

F. Leverton Harris Bequest, 1926

Measurements and weight

Depth: 3.2 cm
Height: 19.4 cm
Width: 15.5 cm

Relative size of this object

15.5 cm19.4 cm3.2 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Siena ⪼ Tuscany ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1926) by Harris, F. Leverton, The Right Hon.


16th century
Production date: circa AD 1509


This tile fragment (and C.128, C.129, C.130-1927) and another border tile fragment which has lost most of its glaze (C.131-1927) formed part of a tile pavement commissioned by Pandolfo Petrucci for the principal room in his palazzo in Siena. The room is thought to have been decorated between 1508 and Petrucci's death in 1512, and three of the tiles are dated 1509. The pavement comprises pentagonal tiles of two sizes, square tiles and rectangular border tiles. Some of the square tiles are decorated with the quartered arms of Piccolomini and Petrucci, with trophies, or with figures in landscapes reminiscent of those by Pinturicchio, Signorelli and Genga. The majority are decorated with grotesques, and the pavement as a whole is one of the most outstanding illustrations of this genre on early sixteenth-century maiolica. Over 300 tiles from the pavement are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and there are 17 in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( dark blue, green, yellow, orange, brownish-red, and black)
Upper Surface composed of tin-glaze

Materials used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.127-1927
Primary reference Number: 48107
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 August 2016 Last processed: Saturday 22 May 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Fragment of a pentagonal tile from the Palazzo Petrucci, Siena" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-29 17:27:19

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Fragment of a pentagonal tile from the Palazzo Petrucci, Siena |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-29 17:27:19|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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