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Majolica Pottery

A specialty of Spanish and Italian ceramic design, majolica pottery, also known as majolica pottery, has been a treasured type of tin-glazed pottery for generations. Beloved for its rich colors and vibrant patterns, majolica pottery has a history that dates back to the Renaissance.

Majolica made its entrance during the days of the Renaissance, with its technique first perfected in the 15th century in the Italian studios at Faenza almost simultaneously as it was mastered by Spanish sculptors. The technique became almost instantaneously popular, with a tin glaze that creates a clean white surface on which to add a rich array of decorative motifs. Majolica studios began popping up across the Italian peninsula from Orvieto to Palermo, and Spanish producers exported their designs throughout Europe.

Beloved for its vibrant palette and meticulous motifs, majolica is still celebrated today. Due to its fragile nature, a vintage or antique majolica piece preserved without chips is a true treasure.

Quick Facts

  • The origin of the name "majolica" is mixed: some sources believe it was derived from the Italian word for Majorca, Spain, while others think it came from the Spanish phrase "obra de mélequa," which refers to a form of lusterware
  • Florentine Renaissance artists and brothers Luca and Andrea della Robbia used majolica as their medium of choice for their iconic ceramic relief sculptures
  • Majolica first became popular in America following its debut at Philadelphia’s Centennial Exhibition in 1876

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