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Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)
Overall: 20.3 x 21 x 12.8 cm (8 x 8 1/4 x 5 1/16 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Philip R. Mather 1945.126.2
During the Renaissance, salt was an expensive commodity and was used to both season and preserve food.
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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