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Maiolica

Maiolica is the name given to tin glazed earthenware of Italian manufacture.

This pottery is covered in an opaque white tin oxide glaze which was decorated in polychrome colours painted onto the absorbent glazed ground, something that requires great artistic skill.

There were numerous centres of production throughout Italy including Florence, Urbino, Faenza, Deruta and Gubbio and Naples in the South.

Some of the most prestigious pieces were created in the 16th century by known artists who decorated plates and dishes with elaborate scenes from classical mythology and the bible. These are known as Istoriato ware.


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Maiolica jars bring some magic to Salisbury

18 March 2019

The ceramics sale at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on April 30 includes two maiolica apothecary jars and covers from the celebrated Fortuna series – an ambitious suite of pharmacy jars and jugs made in the third quarter of the 16th century.

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Early maiolica market tester at Sam Fogg

10 April 2017

A ground-breaking Mayfair exhibition takes a rare focus on first examples of the maiolica technique.

Maiolica charger sothebys

Maiolica charger takes £210,000 at Sotheby’s

28 January 2016

Sotheby’s recent sale of royal and aristocratic heirlooms, titled Of Royal and Noble Descent, included this maiolica istoriato charger.

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Coslov majolica collection comes to London

20 August 2014

Highlights from the Coslov collection of English majolica will be on show in London next month prior to their sale at Freeman’s in Philadelphia on October 7.

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Maiolica dish well worth the 30-year wait

12 December 2011

This previously unrecorded and beautifully painted dish, dated 1537, by the maiolica artist Francesco Xanto Avelli (c.1486-1542) sold for £325,000 at Lyon & Turnbull's latest in Edinburgh.

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Crow’s clear the cracked Deck

01 September 2004

ONE of the pioneers of the vogue for Japanese and Chinese design in the 1870s, Joseph Theodore Deck was also one of the first 19th century potters to explore Isnik floral designs and colour schemes. It was during his efforts to replicate the Turkish palette that he perfected the turquoise glaze that came to be known as bleu de Deck, or Deck blue.

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Majolica rarities still hold firm

22 June 2004

WHILE recent months have seen some softening in the majolica market as a whole, scarce pieces by good makers continue to attract bids close to those they did three or four years ago. Pictured right is one of George Jones’ best-known Stilton dish designs, modelled as a thatched bee skep on a rustic base of mottled greens and browns that also includes a registration lozenge for 1872.

Clock and ceramics stand out on day of routine furniture

15 April 2004

WITH sales of standard furniture chugging along – but at least finding buyers – Gildings (12.5% buyer's premium) of Market Harborough, in common with many in the provinces, looked to ceramics and clocks to provide the day’s highlights at their March 16 sale.

Majolica sardine dish serves up a £2900 treat

26 February 2004

Countless numbers of sardine dishes were turned out by the 100 or so potteries who made majolica wares in the final third of the 19th century but for some collectors the mission is to find an example of each.

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Low estimates will stimulate major bidding

06 February 2004

There is no doubt that a weak dollar has contributed to a weaker UK majolica market – and yet low estimates for good pieces continue to stimulate bidding.

A high price to pay for religious satire

14 August 2002

The ceramics highlight of a mixed subject sale at Raymond de Nicolaÿ (17.94/14.35% buyer’s premium) at Drouot on June 26 was this elaborately decorated maiolica charger c.1520, from Deruta, 19in (49cm) in diameter, which made a double-estimate €330,000 (£213,000).

Maiolica is the real thing and soars to trade bid of £5200

17 April 2002

WITH nearly 300 ceramics and glass lots covering a range of interests, there was almost bound to be one surprise at this Midlands sale for Bonhams on 13 March.

George Jones and Royal Worcester in keen demand

13 December 2001

George Jones majolica continues to be extraordinarily popular with buyers, both trade and private. Some damage to a George Jones cheese dish and cover offered in Birmingham at Biddle & Webb saw it estimated at £300-500 so it came as rather a surprise when it soared above this.

Teapot enthusiasts are catered for at two sales

21 November 2001

Like tea caddies in furniture sales, teapots have their own following in ceramics sales like the one at Phillips Leeds, where the 51/2in (14cm) Minton majolica Japanese Actor model, above right, date-coded 1874, made a within-estimate £1100 which took into account some damage to finial and spout.

Phillips stage rare Minton show

13 August 2001

Minton’s majolica is currently riding high with collectors who appreciate its bright colours and distinctive, often quirkily clever designs. But there is much more to Minton than its majolica, as a loan exhibition currently on show at Phillips New Bond Street rooms aims to show.

Lalique surprises but majolica still rules

06 July 2001

A sale of more than 400 lots at Phillips, Leeds on June 5– of which 80 per cent sold bringing a total of £122,000 – gave dealers and collectors from as far away as America and Australia an opportunity to assess the middle range of collectable glass and ceramics.

Majolica stands tall in Cotswolds

21 June 2001

UK: CERAMICS took the top spots at this 1650-lot Cotswolds sale in the form of a pair of mid-19th century Continental majolica stick stands.

Urbino majolica istoriato dish

23 April 2001

UK: This Urbino majolica istoriato dish, depicting the cutting of Samson’s hair and attributed to Francesco Xanto Avelli di Rovigo, was discovered in a box of effects following a clearance at a Fenland farmhouse and entered for sale at Golding Young & Co. of Grantham on April 11.

Gentili does it

24 October 2000

In these days of raging prices for anything remotely decorative in the world of antiques, it is not often that you find something early, unusual and pleasing to the eye for little more than £500.

£17,000 majolica discovery

26 April 1999

UK: DURING a routine house call to a mid-Victorian terrace in Grantham, auctioneer Colin Young unearthed half of a pair of Victorian comports which were destined to establish a house record for ceramics at the Grantham Auction Rooms.