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Ewer

  • Place of origin:

    Doccia (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1859 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ginori (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in colours and lustre

  • Museum number:

    5446-1859

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 36, shelf 5

The Ginori company, founded in 1735 in Doccia near Florence, built its reputation on imitations of Italian lustred wares and maiolica of around 1500. Under the Marchese Lorenzo Ginori Lisci (d.1878), director from 1848, the pottery produced designs reflecting more varied and more contemporary tastes but also continued making its successful lustred wares. In 1896 the pottery came under the ownership of Giulio Richard who already owned other factories. Combined, the new company was known as the Società Ceramica Richard-Ginori.

This ewer and an associated plate (V&A 5445-1859) were modelled on earlier Renaissance examples following the revival of interest for such material in the 19th century and a rediscovery of the traditional methods of production. The intertwining, grotesque style of pattern on this ewer and dish was originally used to decorate maiolica during the 16th century in Urbino and Gubbio, Italy. The decoration on the Ginori pieces uses a much darker blue with red ruby lustre than the original examples where the main colouring is gold.

These pieces continued to be produced for at least the next two decades, the model number 10 for the dish and ewer along with the pattern number 32 are shown in the Ginori design album of ca.1875. Model 11 for an almost identical shape ewer is also shown in a trade catalogue, 'Manifattura Ginori a Doccia presso Firence, fondata nel 1735' of 1873. The same shapes were produced until the early-20th century as a ewer and dish model number 10 are illustrated in 'Prodotti Artistici Ginori Doccia, Societa Ceramica Richard-Ginori' Florence, published ca.1905. with a paler decoration in the style of Urbino arabesques.

These and four other pieces of Ginori were purchased by Henry Cole (1808-82) then Director of the South Kensington Museum (V&A) in 1859 directly from the manufacturer. The dishes are V&A 5443, 5444 and 5445-1859, the ewer is 5446- 1859, the other two pieces are plain white water-pots 5448 (& 5449-1859 no longer in the Museum collection). Cole visited Florence in late 1858 and early 1859 to acquire works of art for the collection. He was accompanied by Charles Drury Edward Fortnum (1820-99) a collector and connoisseur who advised Cole on many of the purchases.

Physical description

Ewer of tin-glazed earthenware, painted with grotesques in white on a blue ground, relieved with yellow and red lustre; a head of an old man in front on a shield wreathed with serpents. Imitation of maiolica.

Place of Origin

Doccia (made)

Date

ca. 1859 (made)

Artist/maker

Ginori (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in colours and lustre

Dimensions

Height: 27.3 cm, Width: 14.0 cm, Length: 12.7 cm

Descriptive line

Ewer, tin-glazed earthenware painted in colours and lustre, by Richard Ginori, Italy (Doccia), ca. 1859

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

'Manifattura Ginori a Doccia presso Firence, fondata nel 1735'. Manifattura Ginori (Sesto Fiorentino, Italy 1873). TAV XIII-XIV.
Model number 11 for a very similar shaped ewer.
'Societa Ceramica Richard- Ginori. Stabilimento di Doccia. Album delle maioliche artistiche, ms., ca. 1875, (Archivio del Museo di Doccia). Design drawing for this ewer and dish, factory model 10, with decoration number 32.
'Prodotti Artistici Ginori Doccia, Societa Ceramica Richard-Ginori' Florence, published ca.1905. TAV XXIV
Ewer and dish model number 10 with a paler decoration in the style of Urbino arabesques.
124. Plate and ewer with grotesques
circa 1859
maiolica painted in white, blue with red and
yellow lustre
plate diam. 24,1 cm; ewer h 27,3 cm
factory model “10”, pattern number “32”
inv. 5445-1859, 5446-1859
purchase: Ginori Factory, £ 3 2s. 8d
This ewer and associated plate were modelled on earlier Renaissance examples following the revival of interest for such material in the 19th century and a rediscovery of the traditional methods of production. The intertwining, grotesque style of pattern was originally used to decorate maiolica during the first half of the 16th century in Urbino and Gubbio, the latter known for producing the red-gold lustre. The decoration on the Ginori pieces combines a much darker blue than the original Renaissance examples with red ruby lustre. These designs continued to be produced for at least the next two decades. They were exhibited at the 1862 London Exhibition (WARING 1863, plate 77) and the model number “10” for the plate and ewer along with the pattern number “32” are shown in the Album about 1875 (AMD, inv. 428).Model “10” and for an almost identical shape ewer model “11” are also shown in a trade catalogue Album 1873. The same models were produced until the early 20th century, illustrated in Prodotti about 1905, but with paler decoration in the style of Urbino arabesques. These and four other pieces of Ginori were purchased by Henry Cole, the then Director of the South Kensington Museum (V&A), in 1859 directly from the manufacturer (see cat. 121, 123).
R.W.
Bibliography:WAINWRIGHT 1999, p. 184, note 12

pp. 135-137, Cat. 124
Frescobaldi Malenchini, Livia ed. With Balleri, Rita and Rucellai, Oliva, ‘Amici di Doccia Quaderni, Numero VII, 2013, The Victoria and Albert Museum Collection’, Edizioni Polistampa, Firenze, 2014

Production Note

Shown in 'Societa Ceramica Richard-Ginori. Stabilimento di Doccia. Album delle maioliche artistiche, ms., ca. 1875, (Archivio del Museo di Doccia). Design drawing for this ewer, factory model number 10, with decoration number 32. The central reserve on the design drawing depicts a bust of a women, here a man is painted. The design for the ewer is on the same page as that of V&A.5445-1859 (the accompanying dish or basin) again model number 10, decoration number 32.

Materials

Earthenware; Tin glaze

Techniques

Painted; Glazed; Lustre

Subjects depicted

Grotesques; Serpents; Men; Shields

Categories

Ceramics; Earthenware; Maiolica

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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