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Unknown (pottery)


H.S. Reitlinger


tin-glazed earthenware




Late Medieval, maiolica jug, painted in black and green with a shield on each side.

Buff earthenware; the interior and the lower part of the exterior lead-glazed yellowish-brown; the rest thinly tin-glazed ivory. Painted in black and copper-green. Shape 7. Ovoid with flat base, short cylindrical neck, applied folded spout and broad strap handle. On each side within a green border, is a black-outlined shield charged with a fess vert.

Production Notes

maiolica arcaica

Production Place

Orvieto (pottery) (place)

Umbria (pottery) (region)

Italy (pottery) (country)

Technique Description

buff earthenware; the interior and the lower part of the exterior lead-glazed yellowish-brown, the rest thinly tin-glazed ivory; painted in black and copper-green.


height: (whole): 17.0 cm
diameter: (base): 7.3 cm
diameter: (body): 11.8 cm
width: (handle to spout): 13.3 cm


13th Century
14th Century


circa 1250 to 1350


bequeathed: Reitlinger, Henry Scipio 1950 (Filtered for: Applied Arts collection)

Signor Avvocato Marcioni or Cavaliere Capitano Lucatelli; Sotheby's, 16-17 February 1914, Catalogue of the collections of early Italian pottery formed by Signor Avvocato Marcioni and Cavaliere Capitano Lucatelli of Orvieto, 16 February 1914, lot 11 (3). William Ridout; Christie's, 13 December 1938, part of lot 104; H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

H.S. Reitlinger Bequest, 1950


  1. label
    Method: printed in blue and inscribed in blue-black ink
    Content: 'WILLIAM RIDOUT COLLECTION' printed in blue 'O.60.' inscribed in ink
    Description: circular with blue border
  2. label
    Method: inscribed
    Content: 104/20
    Description: rectangular brown tie-on
  3. inscription
    Position: on base
    Method: in pencil
    Content: 11/


  1. Honey, William Bowyer (1934) A Catalogue of the Collection of Italian and other Maiolica, Mediaeval English Pottery, Dutch, Spanish and French Faïence, and other Ceramic Wares, formed by William Ridout of London and Toronto, London [page: p. 14]
    [comments: Publ. p. 14, O.60.]
  2. Poole, Julia E. (1995) Italian Maiolica and Incised Slipware in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Cambridge (Cambs.): Cambridge University Press [page: p. 17]
    [comments: Publ. p. 17, no. 20]

Other Notes

Coats-of-arms occur less frequently on Orvieto maiolica than plant and geometrical ornament, but are nevertheless common on both jugs and bowls. The number of noble families in Orvietan territory was relatively small; forty-eight were recorded in 1322 of whom about twenty-seven were probably resident in the city itself. Pottery might also have been decorated with the arms of the podestà or capitano del popolo who was appointed from outside Orvieto. With some exceptions, the identification of the arms is problematic, because only two colours were used, and potters may not have shown the arms correctly. Their inaccuracy was probably the reason for the decree in 1378 prohibiting Orvieto potters from decorating vessels with arms, except at the wish of their possessor.

Accession Number

C.29-1991 (Applied Arts)
(Reference Number: 47368; Input Date: 2002-05-08 / Last Edit: 2011-07-22)

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