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Flower-holder

Flower-holder

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (northern, made)

  • Date:

    1500-1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed earthenware

  • Credit Line:

    Given by C. H. Campbell, Esq.

  • Museum number:

    C.268-1921

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62A, Discover the Renaissance World, case 3

This ceramic vessel imitates the shape and format of a book. The front and back covers of the book are decorated with the same scenes, including in the central panel a figure with a halo dressed in ecclesiastical vestments. Parallel blue lines have been used to suggest the presence of pages between the cover. The top-edge of the vessel, assuming it was placed vertically on a shelf, does not continue this effect but is perforated with seven holes. Each of these holes is surrounded by six petals painted in blue and it is assumed that the stems of flowers would have been placed in the holes.

Physical description

This ceramic vessel imitates the shape and format of a book. Parallel blue lines have been used to indicate the presence of pages of the vertical and lower edges of the book (between the covers). The top edge of the vessel (if the 'book' was placed vertically on a shelf) does not continue this effect: it is perforated with seven holes, each of which is surrounded by six petals painted in blue. It has been assumed that the stems of flowers would have been placed in the holes. The holes are of approximately similar size but are not exactly the same dimensions.

The front and back covers of the book are decorated with the same scenes, including a figure in a central rectangular panel within a border of strawberry leaves on coiled stems. The central rectangular panel on the front and back covers features a figure dressed in ecclesiastical vestments, including a biretta, cassock, surplice and cape. The figure has a halo. The lowest portion of his garments have been coloured with a dark purple glaze but the central portions are not coloured. Above and below this central panel is a cherub head placed in front of a pair of wings and a pattern of curling foliage fills the vertical border panels. Green glaze has been applied to the leaves but the stem is not coloured. The spine of the vessel is decorated with two bands of leaves similar to those used elsewhere

The bottom right corner of the front-cover has broken away.

Place of Origin

Italy (northern, made)

Date

1500-1550 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Glazed earthenware

Dimensions

Height: 17 cm, Width: 12.9 cm, Depth: 7.1 cm, Weight: 1 kg

Descriptive line

Ceramic flower-holder in the shape of a book.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bernard Rackham, Catalogue of Italian Maiolica Volume I (London, HMSO 1977), p447 VA.1977.0006
Bernard Rackham, Catalogue of Italian Maiolica Volume II (London, HMSO 1977), Plate 219

Labels and date

Object Label (transcribed 16-10-2006)

Flower-holder, earthenware
Northern Italian; about 1550-60
Given by Mr. C. H. Campbell
Cat No. 1409 C.268-1921 []

Production Note

Made in Northern Italy

Materials

Earthenware

Techniques

Painted; Glazed; Fired

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Saints; Cherub

Categories

Ceramics

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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