Italian majolica tin-glazed charger featuring an elaborate design of two mythical figures entwined in foliage, manufactured by C. Tanfani, Rome, circa 1880. C. Tanfani's display of vases in majolica, Etruscan vases, and flower-baskets was awarded a Third Order of Merit (certificate).

Majolica, or maiolica ware is a term traditionally applied to a type of tin-glazed earthenware, popular in Italy during the Renaissance. The term is now more broadly applied to any form of tin-glazed ceramic ware influenced by the original Italian majolica and was considered highly collectable in the late nineteenth century.

The technique developed in the Middle East during the 9th century, befored spreading arcoss the Mediterranean, from Spain into Italy, via the island Majorca, from where the Italian term for this style of ceramic derives.

The earthenware object is first fired at a relatively low temperature before being dipped into a fast-drying glazek, which provides the warm, white background colour onto which the later designs are painted. Once this initial base glaze is dried, the design is painted in tin-based glazes and subsequently fired a second time at a higher temperature, producing the deep, rich colours so typical of this style of ceramic.

Physical Description

Earthenware charger, cream underlay. The centre painted with two figures growing from stylised plants. A pattern of flowers, tendrils, vines, etc. in yellow, blue, green and black around rim.

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