This playful vessel takes an unusual form. The green fronds are impractical as handles, and the continuous decoration—unnecessary if the pot were intended for storing goods on a shelf—suggests that it was meant to be seen in the round. The original function of this piece therefore remains open to debate, but it was perhaps better suited to displaying cut flowers. Renaissance paintings show maiolica vessels used in this way.
probably Alessandro Castellani , Rome (by 1876–78; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 27–29, 1878, no. 21; sold for 420 francs to Fau); Joseph Fau (1878–84; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 3–8, 1884, no. 42; sold for 280 francs); J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (until d. 1913; on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1901–12 [no. 252], brought to New York 1912; to his son, J. P. Morgan); by descent, J. P. Morgan Jr. (1913–16; on loan to MMA 1914–16 [PM3048]; sold to Duveen as part of the Morgan collection ["Morgan Majolica" no. 95]); [ 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); by descent, 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. 99; sold for $700 plus $35 commission to French and Company); [ French and Co., New York , as agent for MMA, 1946 ]