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  • Place of origin:

    Deruta (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1520 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica), with painted decoration in blue and lustre

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 13

Object Type
This type of two-handled vase, often fitted with a shallow conical cover and mostly decorated in blue and pale lustre, was part of the standard repertoire of the potters of Deruta. It is not exactly known what they were used for but they may have been made for banquets and wedding feasts. The inscription and the symbols of love, certainly suggest that this particular vase was intended to celebrate an engagement or a wedding.

Materials & Making
By 1500 the small town of Deruta had developed into a well known pottery production centre. A speciality of the town was golden-yellow lustre decoration. This was achieved by introducing brushwood into the kiln towards the end of the firing process. The resulting thick smoke creates an oxygen-starved 'reducing' atmosphere, which reacted with the lustre pigments. The process required highly specialised skills and the kiln losses were considerable, which explains the high price commanded by lustred earthenware.

Place of Origin

Deruta (made)


ca. 1520 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica), with painted decoration in blue and lustre

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed: 'Co pura fe' (in pure faith)


Height: 29.6 cm, Width: 27.6 cm maximum, Depth: 19.5 cm maximum

Object history note

Made in Deruta, Italy

Descriptive line


Labels and date

British Galleries:

The Della Robbia pottery of Birkenhead, Merseyside, took its name from a famous family of sculptors working in Florence in the 15th century. Some of the work it produced was closely based on Renaissance pottery. There is a direct comparison between the shape and decoration of this vase and the 16th-century vase from Deruta, Italy to the left. [27/03/2003]


British Galleries; Ceramics


Ceramics Collection

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