Italian Pottery & Majolica

Majolica is pottery or earthenware that is coated with an opaque tin oxide glaze.  Although majolica has been created in many countries for many decades, Italy is perhaps most famous for this type of pottery.  Majolica is usually brightly colored and often features dramatic imagery, which may well be why it has always been one of my personal favorite forms of pottery.

Spain and Mexico are also renowned for their majolica, and I will photograph specimens of those countries soon.  They are also very beautiful, but unlike the Italian designs, less “classical” in theme.England has long been a producer of majolica wares, but the appearance of English majolica is very different from that of the Italian or Spanish pieces.  Figural designs, heavily influenced by nature, tend to be prevalent in these pieces and the glaze varies a good bit, as well.

As you will see from the following photos of my Italian pieces, Majolica is used for utilitarian wares as well as for decorative objects.

The lovely antique teapot shown below is a piece in my collection that was made by famous Deruta of Italy.  I love the fact that there is a bucolic farm scene of one side of the teapot and a floral design on the other.

The breathtaking majolica pot shown below was a gift from a friend who visited Italy and somehow managed to get this back to the U.S. safely.  I absolutely love it.

The small Majolica basket shown in the photo below is very old.  It has some interesting marks on the bottom, but I know nothing about them or about its origin.

The two following pieces (photos below) are also old pieces.   The vase on the left is embellished with raised 3-D style flowers and is quite lovely.  The small bowl on the right features beautiful, vibrant colors and was probably actually a well-used piece.

When I found the pretty little urn shown below, I was quite surprised to discover that it is from Italy.  It does not look like most of the Italian ceramic ware that I have seen.

Please check back, as I will be adding photos of more majolica soon!

Last modified on: October 17th 2012.