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Vase: C.92.2 & A-1961

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 7 (Courtauld)


Workshop: Della Robbia, Giovanni




Della Robbia vase with two dolphin handles decorated in blue tin-glaze with traces of gilding. Into the mouth of the vase fits a posy of modelled flowers, fruit, vegetables, two frogs and a snail decorated naturalistically in coloured glazes.

Earthenware, moulded and tin-glazed on the exterior and the interior of the neck; the interior and base unglazed. Glaze colours: lavender-blue with traces of gilding; the posies are blue, green, yellowish-green, yellow, brown, manganese-purple, white, and brownish-black.
The vase stands on a circular moulded foot. The lower part of the body is gadrooned, a band of interlace ornament encircles the widest part, and the neck and shoulders are decorated with scales. The lip is moulded and slightly everted. On each side there is a dolphin handle, the head attached to the shoulder and the tail to the rim. Into the mouth of the vase fits a posy of modelled flowers, fruit and vegetables, amid which are two frogs and a snail.


History note: Henry Harris; Sotheby's, 24 October 1950, Catalogue of the celebrated collection of bronzes, sculpture, paintings and works of art of the Italian Renaissance, lot 5; Louis C.G. Clarke.

Legal notes

L.C.G. Clarke Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 39 cm
Width: 22.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Florence ⪼ Tuscany ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1960) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


15th Century#
16th Century
Circa 1500 CE - 1520 CE


Label text from the exhibition ‘Feast and Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500–1800’, on display at The Fitzwilliam Museum from 26 November 2019 until 31 August 2020: Ceramic tableware in the form of animals, vegetables, and fruit was intended to deceive, surprise, and amuse diners, and to create the impression of great abundance on dining tables and sideboards. These vibrant and vivacious ornamental vase-covers made by the Della Robbia workshop are early examples of naturalistically moulded and coloured ceramic fruit and vegetables that became popular in Europe.

Made in the Della Robbia workshop, and attributed to Giovanni Della Robbia

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, green, yellowish-green, yellow, brown, manganese-purple, white, and brownish-black) gold
Mouth Diameter 12.4 cm
Foot Diameter 13.6 cm
Cover Diameter 25.3 cm

Materials used in production

except interior and base Tin-glaze

Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.92.2 & A-1961
Primary reference Number: 48201
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 3 July 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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