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  • Place of origin:

    Orvieto (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    late 14th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    buff-coloured earthenware covered with lead and tin glaze and painted in copper and manganese

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sydney Vacher

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 36, shelf 2

Physical description

Pear-shaped body of a jug of buff-coloured earthenware; the neck and handle are missing. The body is covered with a thin tin-glaze, except the lowest part which is covered with a plain lead glaze as is the interior. An image of a stag with antlers appears on one side of the body, painted in green (copper) and outlined in purple (manganese). To its right there is a long frond of foliage which most likely, based on similar examples, extended from the stag's mouth.

Place of Origin

Orvieto (possibly, made)


late 14th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

buff-coloured earthenware covered with lead and tin glaze and painted in copper and manganese

Object history note

This jug was recorded as having been dug up in Orvieto. No further information is recorded. Prior to coming to the museum, it was bought by Sydney Vacher who obtained it from the Marcioni-Lucatelli collection of maiolica. Vacher gave this jug to the museum in 1914.

It is likely that the jug was found in a similar context to other pieces of maiolica known to have been found in pozzi (wells) in Orvieto. Around the turn of the 20th century, a great deal of building work was going on in Orvieto including replacing the old medieval system of plumbing. Many pieces of so-called 'archaic maiolica' were brought up out of wells and thus from unstratified contexts.

Descriptive line

Jug, fragmentary, tin-glazed earthenware painted in green and brown. Italian, possibly made in Orvieto, late 14th century.

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

Bernard Rackham, Catalogue of Italian Maiolica, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1940
Otto Mazucato, 'Le ceramiche del ritrovamento di Bolsena', Atti, VII (1974), pp.285-293
La ceramica orvietana del medioevo, exhibition catalogue, Milano, 1983

Labels and date

Body of a jug of enamelled earthenware (maiolica), painted in manganese-purple outline filled in with green. Found at Orvieto. Italian, late 14th or early 15th century. [1914]
Part of a jug, earthenware. Dug up at Orvieto, Italian, first half of 15th century. [1952]
13. Jug with body of a stag
Italy (Orvieto), 1375-1425
Earthenware painted with colours into the opaque tin-glaze
Some Italian noble families used stags in their heraldic arms.
Museum no. C.116-1914. Given by Sydney Vacher. [2007]

Production Note

Found in Orvieto.




Glazing; Painting

Subjects depicted





Ceramics Collection

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