Saturday, 13 April 2013
English Majolica Pug Dog Jug circa 1880, modelled as a seated Pug, in shades of brown, pink interior. 10 1/2 " height.
The word maiolica is thought to have come from the medieval Italian word for Majorca, an island on the route for ships that brought Hispano-Moresque wares to Italy from Valencia in the 15th and 16th centuries, or from the Spanish obra de Mallequa, the term for lustered ware made in Valencia under the influence of Moorish craftsmen from Malaga. During the Renaissance, the term maiolica was adopted for Italian-made luster pottery copying Spanish examples, and during the 16th century its meaning shifted to include all tin-glazed earthenware.
Because of their identical names, there has been some confusion between tin-glazed majolica/maiolica and the lead-glazed majolica made in England and America in the 19th century, but they are different in origin, technique, style and history. In the late 18th century, old Italian maiolica became popular among the British, who referred to it by the anglicized pronunciation majolica. The Minton pottery copied it and applied the term majolica ware to their product. At the Great Exhibition of 1851, Minton launched a colorful lead-glazed earthenware which they called Palissy ware. By the 1880s, the public was calling Palissy ware Majolica, and the usage has stuck. "In the 1870s, the curators of the South Kensington Museum returned to the original Italian 'maiolica' with an 'i' to describe all Italian tin-glazed earthenware, doubtless to stress the Italian pronunciation and to avoid confusion with contemporary majolica."
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