In the late fourteenth century, Spanish potters developed a technique called lustering that gave their earthenware a shimmering iridescence. Italian potters went to Spain as spies to learn the secret recipe, and a century later, artists in Umbria became the first in Italy to master the technique. The initials on this pot (R and F ) may refer to a couple—such vases were probably purchased by newlyweds putting together their household.
Inscription: Inscribed on bands: on one side: •F•; on other side: •R•
[ Charles Mannheim , Paris, by 1898–1901; sold as part of the Mannheim collection to Morgan ]; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (1901–d. 1913; on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1901–12 [no. 53], brought to New York 1912; to his son, J. P. Morgan); J. P. Morgan Jr. , New York (1913–16; on loan to MMA 1914–16 [PM3107]; sold to Duveen as part of the Morgan collection); [ Duveen Brothers , New York, 1916; sold to Schiff ] ; Mortimer L. Schiff , New York (1916–d. 1931; on loan to MMA 1917–19; to his son, John); John M. Schiff , New York (1931–46; on loan to MMA 1937–46, on view 1937–41; his sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, May 4, 1946, no. 22; sold for $500 plus $25 commission to French and Company); [ French and Co., New York , as agent for MMA, 1946 ]
Artist: Designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini (Italian, Siena 1439–1501 Siena)Date: ca. 1478–82Medium: Walnut, beech, rosewood, oak and fruitwoods in walnut baseAccession: 39.153On view in:Gallery 501