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Two-handled jar: C.75-1961

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 6 (Upper Marlay): case 1, shelf C


Workshop: Maso and Miniato di Domenico (Perhaps)
Workshop: Giunta di Tugio (Perhaps)




Renaissance maiolica two-handled pharmacy jar, painted in manganese, dark relief blue and green with hounds, 'oak leaves', dots and dashes.

Buff earthenware, tin-glazed creamy-white on the interior and exterior; most of the rim and base unglazed. Painted in manganese, dark relief-blue, and a little green. Shape 42. Ovoid with flat base, short cylindrical neck and two strap handles.
On one side there is a hound running to the left and, on the other, a hound running to the right, surrounded by sprays of oak leaves with dots and dashes in the background. On each side of the handles, there are three vertical manganese lines, on the outside of which are short horizontal manganese strokes separated by blue spots. Round the lower part of the body there are two horizontal manganese bands; round the neck, alternating manganese chevrons and blue spots between pairs of manganese bands. The handles are decorated with a crutch with a green shaft, a series of horizontal manganese lines, and blue spots. Below each handle are two manganese six-armed asterisks with blue dots at the end of the strokes.


History note: Sir Otto Beit; Sir Alfred Beit (1903-94); Sotheby's, 16 October 1942, Catalogue of important Italian majolica, the property of Sir Alfred Beit Bt, MP., lot 5; Louis C.G. Clarke (1881-1960)

Legal notes

L.C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960

Measurements and weight

Height: 20 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Florence ⪼ Tuscany ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1961-04-27) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


Second quarter of 15th century
Circa 1427 CE - 1431 CE


Archaeological evidence recovered since 1975 indicates that relief-blue (zaffera a rilievo) decoration on maiolica came into use in Tuscany during the last third of the fourteenth century,. It may be the blue referred to in two recipes, one for blue pigment for the decoration of maiolica, and the other for relief-blue 'in the Florentine manner' included in a MS now in the Library of the University of Bologna (MS 2861), and formerly in the convent of San Salvatore in Bologna. By the early fifteenth century it was well-established and in addition to two-handled jars, it was used on jugs, albarelli, ewers, and, more rarely, on dishes. It probably continued in use until the 1460s. It was also used in Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, and probably Umbria. See the notes below.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( manganese, dark relief-blue, and a little green)
Mouth Diameter 11.3 cm
Base Diameter 11.8 cm
Across Handles Width 22.5 cm

Materials used in production

most of rim and base unglazed Tin-glaze

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: circular with serrated edge, 62 crossed out

  • Text: 62
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in pencil
  • Type: Label
  • Text: 736
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in red
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.75-1961
Primary reference Number: 81370
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 22 June 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 23 June 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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