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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 )
Amidst the luxury of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Italy, when the influence of the Guilds maintained a wonderful standard of merit in all branches of art till the close of the Renaissance, the ambition or the discontent of individual artists led them away from the chief centres of the faience industry, to try their fortunes where the promised support of some important family seemed to indicate a favourable opening. They were fully cognisant of the value of the patronage of the Medici and other wealthy princes in that marvellous epoch when the spirit of production enriched the world, and their world in particular; so they went forth alone, in hope. Such isolated efforts might account for the number of unknown coats-of-arms and artists' marks, and for the scanty records of certain places where a botega once existed.
Fabriano had such a botega, pieces from which were marked with a curious q. reversed, with or without an inscription, such as " Fabriano 1527," which occurs on a plate painted with the " Madonna della Scala," a copy of the engraving by Marc Antonio Raimondi after Raphael. When this plate came to light the same artist's work was recognised upon other specimens, such as another plate in the museum at South Kensington, painted en grisaile with the " Rape of Proserpine," and marked at the back with the reversed q.. Modern ware is now made there-lustred pieces with good copper, fair ruby, and a promising brassy golden lustre with violet reflections.
Viterbo might have had such a botega. Nothing is known of it, but a roughish and poor plate at South Kensington, decorated with the "Metmorphosis of Actaeon" dated 1544. shows that date in a scroll held by a hand on the border, with an inscription, " In Viterbo Diomeo," in capitals.
Rome suffers by comparison with other centres of ceramic art. There are no records on dated pieces before 1600, about which time M° Diomede, on the fall of the duchy of Urbino, established a fabrique in the Holy City, transferring his art from Castel Durante. Two oviform pharmacy vases, with double serpent handles, and a dome cover having a knob, in the Fortnum collection, were remarkable for their inscriptions on oval labels. One vase had " Fatto in botega de M. Diomede Durante in Roma," and its companion
" Fatto in Roma da Gio Paulo Savino, MDC." They are described as decorated on one side with grotesques in yellow, greyish-blue, and orange colours, on a white enamel ground of considerable purity ; on the other a leafy diaper in the same tone of blue covers the like ground. About the same quality appears to be a cup inscribed " Roma. Anno. Jubilei 1600," whilst a vase with " Roma f ecit 1620 " had the form of a boccale or decanter in the style of Savino.
In 1790 a manufacture of white glazed earthenware and biscuit china figures was started by Giovanni Volpato, a Venetian engraver. After expending much money and time upon his works, where he at one time employed twenty modellers, he met with failure, and the factory was closed in 1831. Occasionally specimens of the glazed pottery and of the biscuit china are found, having the name G ' VOLPATO ROMA ' impressed in the clay. Coarse glazed pottery with figure, fruit, and floral ornament is still made for common use, but the copies of the old faience, also modern produced at the botega of Torquato Castellani, have a certain merit, although they are not of interest to the collector.
Foligno and Spello, the latter in the Marches of Ancona, are mentioned by Piccolpasso-the former for a water-mill to grind colours used on slip of white Vicenza clay, the latter as producing a fine light-coloured potter's earth.