A very rare and large Faenza, Casa Pirota charger circa 1525
Lot 10
A rare and large Montelupo, Trident Workshop, maiolica charger, circa 1525-30
Sold for £36,000 (US$ 60,509) inc. premium
Auction Details
A rare and large Montelupo, Trident Workshop, maiolica charger, circa 1525-30 A very rare and large Faenza
Lot Details
A rare and large Montelupo, Trident Workshop, maiolica charger, circa 1525-30
Decorated with so-called gentilezze comprising of a central medallion of elaborate fruit surrounded by a stiff-leaf cartouche, all placed on a pale blue ground decorated in berettino painted with deep blue lambrequin knots alternating with cross-hatch patterns and scattered with leaves and floral elements in green and orange, the edge of the heightened rim with a moulded dentil border in deep-blue and white, 42cm diam, trident mark to the back of the charger (very minor typical losses to the glaze on the edge of the rim)


  • Provenance:
    Emile Dreyfuss Collection, Paris (to 1943) and Geneva (various collectors labels to reverse);
    His posthumous sale, Galerie Fischer Lucerne, 30 November 1967, lot 91, where acquired by the present owner

    Hausmann 1972, p. 166;
    Wilson and Thornton 2009, vol I, cat.no. 131, n.12

    There is a close similarity with a charger from a service with the coat of arms of Medici-Strozzi with the same trident mark on the back in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, published by Liverani 1958, plate 51, and Rackham 1977, cat. no. 288. Rackham mentions other pieces with the same mark, one of them a drug-jar in the British museum, where the trident-mark is combined with the round wheel-mark traditionally associated with the Casa Pirota workshop in Faenza. This led him to conclude that maiolica with the trident mark must be related to pieces made in the Casa Pirota workshop.

    There is also a shallow bowl in the British museum decorated with an istoriato scene, illustrated by Wilson and Thornton (op.cit), where the authors note that the previous tentative attribution of this plate was to Faenza. In light of more research, it seems more likely to be an example of the diaspora of Faenza maiolica painters and the spread of the Faenza style of maiolica elsewhere, and was probably made at Montelupo. The author refers to cat.no.132 in the same catalogue, a probably Montelupo, possibly 'Trident Workshop' bowl, which shows close similarities in the decoration of the fruit and vegetables on the present lot. Similar decoration of large fruit has been found on shards dug up at Montelupo.

    The present lot appears to be the largest known piece from the Trident-workshop. Other chargers and scodelle with the same trident mark are mentioned by Berti 1998, Vol. II, p. 186, where the author also advances the theory that the Trident-workshop must have been founded in Montelupo by a Faentine potter. Berti illustrates two chargers in the Musée National de Céramique at Sèvres, a charger in the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin, and four examples of excavated shards from the Museo Archeologico e della Ceramica in Montelupo.

    Emile Dreyfuss (d. 1966) was a distinguished specialist and collector of Renaissance maiolica, Spanish, French and Swiss faience. He lived in Paris until 1943, when he moved to Geneva, where his uncle was a well-known antiques dealer. From 1953, he was the Swiss representative of the Amis de Sèvres, and was friends with many of the greatest ceramics specialists, such as Dr. Chompret, Hans Haug, and Gaetano Ballardini.
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