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Two maiolica apothecary jars and covers from the celebrated Fortuna series – estimated at £3000-5000 at Woolley & Wallis.

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Common to each piece is the central ‘Venus’ figure, surrounded by trophies of arts and music, thought to be the personification of Fortune. Each is dated 1579 or 1580.

Numerous pieces from the suite have survived, including the three pictured in Timothy Wilson’s catalogue Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There it is suggested that they were made for the pharmacy ‘at the sign of the Fortuna’ run by Marco Paoli in the San Nicola district of Pesaro. The two 17in (42cm) jars at W& W, with some damage but retaining the covers (now with wooden finials), are estimated at £3000-5000.

woolleyandwallis.co.uk