Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Medici, Florence
ca. 1575–78
Italian, Florence
Soft-paste porcelain
Overall, irregular diameter (confirmed): H. 2 1/4 x W. 13 3/16 x D. 13 1/8 in. (5.7 x 33.5 x 33.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Samuel D. Lee Fund, 1941
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 503
"Medici" porcelain, represented by these four pieces, is the first porcelain known to have been made in Europe. It was produced under the patronage of Grand Duke Francesco de'Medici (1541–1587), who was probably inspired by the large collection of Chinese porcelain and Iznik pottery amassed by his father, Cosimo I. A striking feature of the production is the intermingling of oriental, Islamic, and Renaissance stylistic elements.
Marking: Outside bottom: coronet and six balls of the Medici arms, upper ones with initials F, M, M, lower indistinct, one at left possibly E

Traces of initials on the balls (probably FMMDE II) refer to the Duke Francesco of Medici (Franciscus Medici Magnus Dux Etruriae Secundus).
possibly A. Foresi , Florence (before 1860) ; possibly Eugène Piot (until 1860; sale, March 19, 1860, no. 83; to Rothschild) ; Baron Gustave de Rothschild , Paris (from 1860, in 1882) ; Baron Lambert , Brussels (1936–38) ; [ sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries , New York, March 7, 1941, no. 110 ]
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