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Collecting Old Continental Pottery
Henri Deux Ware, Etc.
Paris And Its Environs
Glazed Pottery Of France
Stoneware Of Germany
German And Other Guilds
SWEDEN, DENMARK, SWITZERLAND:
Stockholm, Rorstrand, and Marieberg
Delft: The Old Signs Of The Potters
Majolica And Luca Della Robia
Naples, Rimini, Monte Feltro, And Forli
Siena, Monte Lupo, And Pisa
Fabriano, Viterbo, Rome
Venice, Treviso, Bassano, Milan, Etc.
PERSIA AND DAMASCUS:
Persia And Damascus
Persian And Other Tiles
Rhodes, Asiatic Turkey, Etc.
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Siena in the Middle Ages was the seat of a powerful republic which rivalled Florence and Pisa. Though now greatly decayed, some of its churches still show the fine work of Luca and Andrea della Robbia, in altar-pieces and groups. The discovery of a pavement composed of four hundred and seventy-two tiles, in the Petrucci Palace, drew attention to the majolica produced here. They are dated 1509. The border is beautifully painted with grotesques and figures of children, in various colours upon a black ground, an unusual style, which also occurs on the border of a large dish in the British Museum, and is said to be almost peculiar to this botega. About 1510 an able artist, Maestro Benedetto, decorated some of the ware, including a plate painted in blue with " 5t. Jerome in the desert," signed on the reverse " f ata in Siena da m° benedetto," and another is known painted with " Mutius Scaevola before Porsenna," surrounded by a border of grotesques on an orange ground, also signed " f ata i Siena da m° benedetto." Some specimens marked LP and F with I inside O are ascribed to this master because of the similarity of the decoration.
Passing to the eighteenth century brings us to Ferdinando M. Campani, the best ceramic artist of his time in Italy. A plate, " The Creation of the Stars," reveals the skill of this artist. It is in the British Museum, and has the inscription
" I'eydinando Canafiani Senese dipinse 1733." Another piece signed by him is at South Kensington. At the present day, reproductions of the old majolica, due to efforts of Signor Pepi, in Siena, have reached the modern-antique market, with scratches and chips artistically applied. There can be no doubt, however, in the mind of any amateur who has seen the exquisite finish of the old ware, especially the bianco sofira bianco decoration which was highly favoured. Fortnum remarks on the productions of the early years of the sixteenth century, " In respect of their technical characteristics, and the tone and manner of their colouring and design, they are more nearly allied to the productions of the Caffaggiolo furnaces, from which in all probability the inspiration of them was derived." But possibly the Ferrara botega, in the castle, may have had some influence on Siena, for as early as 1436 the name of " Maestro Benedetto bocalero in Castello " is found, who, likely enough, may have been related to Benedetto of Siena. We do not know, but the speculation has some interest.
The productions of Monte Lupo, a small town near Florence which lies on the southern bank of the Arno, were generally of an inferior quality, badly painted, resembling some of the inferior faience of Avignon, in France. The exception to this rule is to be seen in the ware formed of red clay covered with a brown or black glaze, sometimes heightened with gold. The glaze is distinguished by lustrous reflections, reflets irises, and the surface is occasionally ornamented in relief with figures applied as white or yellow slip on the brown ground, like English slip-ware, a rough kind of Pate saar 15dte. In the Sevres Museum a goblet or tazza, white-enamelled, with poorly painted figures, bears on the reverse the name Montelupo-" Dipinta Giovinale Teyenz da Montelupo "-and other pieces are inscribed " Raffaele Girolamo fecit Mte Lupo 1639." Jacquemart says: " There exists in some collections teapots, cups, and goblets glazed in warm brown, very lustrous, decorated in gold, with Chinese flowers on the borders, heightened with engraved lines. These charming pieces appear more perfect than those of Monte Lupo, and their style recalls the fine Oriental decoration of Milan." Some wares from this botega have been painted in ordinary oil colours and gilt, but such decoration is outside ceramic art, which, in its majolica and painting here, may be described as coarse and rudely designed.
Pisa made faience and exported it during three centuries preceding the fifteenth. The bacini or saucer-shaped plates which decorated the outer walls of the Pisan churches were probably made locally. The writer whose name occurs elsewhere, Antonio Beuter, about 1550 declared, in praising the wares of Spain, that they were equal to those of Pisa and other places. In the next century Escolano, another historian, wrote : " In exchange for the faiences that Italy sends us from Pisa, we export to that country cargoes of those of Manises." Of course this does not prove that the Italian pottery was made at Pisa. Probably very little of the finest majolica had its origin in that town, which was ruined by Genoa, and since the beginning of the sixteenth century has been subject to Tuscany, becoming eventually a part of the present Kingdom of Italy. Only one piece of fine ware, a large and well-formed vase in the Rothschild Collection at Paris, is known to be inscribed with the name PISA in two cartouches or tablets on the sides. The decoration consists of grotesques on a white ground.