Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)
Overall: 34.6 x 19.4 x 12.4 cm (13 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 4 7/8 in.)
Gift from J. H. Wade 1923.914
This pear-shaped vessel recalls flasks that early travelers tied to the harnesses of their horses on long trips or pilgrimages to holy sites.
During the Italian Renaissance of the 1400s and 1500s, nobles and merchants eager to express their wealth and sophistication ordered ceramics for dining, display, and storage. Known as maiolica, because it resembled the brightly colored ceramics from the Mediterranean island of Majorca, these ceramic vessels were covered with a tin glaze that provided an opaque white surface on which colorful decoration could be painted.
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