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Jug: C.2161-1928

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Unidentified Orvieto pottery (Pottery)


Medieval jug, of earthenware painted underglaze in brown and green with leaves, arcs, lines and stripes.

Pale buff earthenware, covered, with the exception of an uneven area above the base, with a clear, light honey-coloured lead glaze; interior and base unglazed. Painted underglaze in manganese-brown and copper-green. Approximately Shape 2. Ovoid with a flat base, contracting at the top into a cylindrical neck; broad strap handle; spout made from a strip of clay folded and pressed to the neck and shoulder.
The upper part of the body is decorated with four curling multipartite leaves, reserved in a green ground between pairs of horizontal manganese bands. On the neck, there are intersecting arcs partly filled with green, and on each side of the spout, two horizontal manganese lines flanking a wider green line. The handle is decorated with three groups of three manganese horizontal stripes alternating with two wider green stripes.


History note: Signor Avvocato Arcangelo Marcioni (1859-1928)or Cavaliere Capitano Ferdinando Lucatelli of Orvieto whose collections were sold without differentiation by Sotheby's, 16 February 1914, Catalogue of the collections of Italian pottery formed by Signor Avvocato Marcioni and Cavaliere Capitano Lucatelli of Orvieto, lot 79D (1 or 2); Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 16 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Orvieto ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


13th Century
Circa 1200 CE - 1300 1300 CE


Pottery decorated underglaze in manganese and copper-green had probably come into use by the end of the twelfth century and continued for most of the thirteenth. David Whitehouse's initial view that it had been superseded by maiolica by about 1250 has been revised since the recovery of underglaze painted wares alongside maiolica of Developed type during excavations of butti (rubbish pits) at the Palazzetto Faina and the Palazzo del Popolo in Orvieto.

This shape of jug occurs with several varieties of stylized plant ornament and with different neck borders. Examples similarly decorated with multipartite leaves and arcs on the neck are in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Orvieto, the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Faenza, and formerly in a private collection in Orvieto. Another, lacking its handle was recovered from cistern C of the Palazzetto Faina, and is now in the Deposito Communale. The provenance and shape of this example suggest that it too originated in Orvieto, but similar decoration occurs on vessels from northern Lazio. A jug in the Palazzo di Venezia, Rome (PV 5310) is attributed to Viterbo.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration: composed of high-temperature colours ( manganese-brown and copper-green) Body: Diameter 13 cm
Base: Diameter 7.3 cm
Handle To Spout: Width 17 cm

Materials used in production

Lead-glaze Earthenware

Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2161-1928
Primary reference Number: 47109
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 17 November 2020 Last processed: Saturday 22 May 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Jug" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-10-19 08:22:31

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{{cite web|url=|title=Jug|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-10-19 08:22:31|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="" alt="jug" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">jug</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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