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Jug: C.167-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown (Probably)




Renaissance maiolica jug, painted in blue and yellow with, on the front, a sunburst surrounded by a circle, and rays and strokes on the sides.

Pale buff earthenware, thrown. The exterior is tin-glazed; the interior and base are unglazed. Painted in blue and yellow.
Bulbous ovoid body with cylindrical neck, flaring towards the carinated rim, which is pinched at the front to form a spout; broad strap handle with a longitudinal depression, curving upwards on either side of a thumb print at the lower end.
On the front is a sunburst comprising a yellow striped centre, five blue rays surrounded by a yellow circle between two blue, and three more rays on each side. The handle is flanked by slanting blue strokes between two sets of three blue vertical lines. Below are two horizontal bands, and on the neck, criss-crosses between pairs of horizontal bands.


History note: William Ridout; Christie's, 13 December 1938, The William Ridout collection of Italian majolica, European pottery, faience and delftware, part of lot 33; 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: 18.7 cm
Width: 13.4 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


15th Century, Late
16th Century, Early#
Circa 1480 CE - 1520 CE


Sunburst decoration was widely disseminated in central Italy in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth cenury. It seems probably that this jug came from Orvieto, or elsewhere in Umbria or northern Lazio, rather than from Faenza to which it was attributed to W.B. Honey. Jugs with carinated rims and various different types of decoration have been found at a kiln site adjacent to the Pozzo della Cava in via della Cava, Orvieto. Jugs with sunburst motifs have been found at another pottery further up the street.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue and yellow)
Exterior composed of tin-glaze
Base Diameter 8.4 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: circular with blue border

  • Text: 'WILLIAM RIDOUT COLLECTION' printed in blue, 'FA./4' in black ink
  • Method of creation: Printed in blue and inscribed in black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: brown tie-on

  • Text: 33/4
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in pencil
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: circular with serrated edge

  • Text: 348/a
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in pencil
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.167-1991
Primary reference Number: 72426
Packing number: EURCER 364
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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