"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: On back, at center: [coronet and six balls of the Medici arms]; on three topmost balls: F M M•; on remaining three balls: [illegible initials, perhaps E• D• II]
Notes on mark: probably F.M.M.E.D. II [Franciscus Medici Magnus Dux Etruriae Dux II, Francesco de' Medici Second Grand Duke of Tuscany]
[ Art market , Florence; to Foresi ] ; Alessandro Foresi , Florence ; Eugène Piot , Paris (until 1860; his sale, Hôtel des Commissaires-Priseurs, Paris, March 19, 1860, no. 83); Baron Gustave de Rothschild , Paris (by 1869–d. 1911) ; by descent, Baron Henri Lambert , Brussels (until d. 1933; to his widow, Johanna) ; Baroness Rothschild-Lambert , New York (1933–41; sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, March 7, 1941, no. 110; sold to MMA)