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  • Place of origin:

    Caldas da Rainha (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870-80 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mafra workshop (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed earthenware with modelled decoration

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs. G. Cope

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case H1, shelf 3

Physical description

Dish of glazed earthenware, decorated with modelled and applied figures of a grass snake and lizards in the style of Palissy.

Place of Origin

Caldas da Rainha (made)


ca. 1870-80 (made)


Mafra workshop (made)

Materials and Techniques

Glazed earthenware with modelled decoration

Marks and inscriptions

A crown above 'M. MAFRA / CALDAO / PORTGAL'
Impressed. The crown mark indicates a date after 1870 when Mafra achieved royal patronage.



Diameter: 23.8 cm

Object history note

Manuel Cipriano Gomes (1831-1905) was born in a village near Mafra. In 1850, he moved to Caldas da Rainha, a spa town in central west Portugal known for ceramic making. He adopted the name Mafra and set up his workshop in 1853, having purchased the existing workshop of Maria dos Cacos, for whom he had at first worked. In about 1870, he gained royal patronage. In 1887, his son Edouardo Augusto joined the business for a time but left for a political career. Mafra died in 1905. The artisanal workshop specialised in zoomorphic vessels and wares inspired by the work of Palissy (France, 16th century).

Descriptive line

Dish of glazed earthenware, decorated with modelled reptiles and with moss effect, workshop of Manuel Mafra, Caldas da Rainha, ca. 1870-80.

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

José Quieros, Ceramica Portuguesa, Lisbon, 1948
Katz, Marshall P., 'Portuguese Palissy Ware', New York, 1999
Cristina Ramos e Horta, 'Manuel Mafra 1829-1905' in 'Manuel Mafra: Mestre na Cerâmica das Caldas', Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, 2009
Cristina Ramos e Horta, 'Manuel Mafra Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum', in 'Artis: Revista de História da Arte e Ciências do Património', no.1, Portugal, 2013
Cristina Ramos e Horta, 'Portuguese Ceramicist Manuel Mafra: Nature, Exoticism and Luxury' in Journal of the Decorative Arts Society, no.37, 2013




Glazed; Modelled

Subjects depicted

Lizards; Snake


Ceramics; Earthenware


Ceramics Collection

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