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17th Century Italian Maiolica Shell Centerpiece Faenza, circa 1700



Centerpiece white maiolica shell Ferniani factory, early period: 1693-1776 Faenza, circa 1700 Measures: 5.6 in x 14.72 in x 13.46 in (14.3 cm x 37.4 cm x cm 34.2) lb 4.4 each (kg 2) State of conservation: mimetic restoration on the front and conservative restoration on the back, few additions. The Conti Ferniani factory is considered to be the oldest and longest lasting manufacturing of the Emilia-Romagna region: it remained active for two centuries and took a leading role in Faenza production, so much so that it was to become, during the 18th century and in the subsequent period, a symbol of "inseparable and extraordinary binomial Faenza-Ferniani" (Ravanelli Guidotti Carmen, a cura di, “La Fabbrica Ferniani. Ceramiche faentine dal barocco all’eclettismo”, Milano 2009, p.19). This maiolica centerpiece is a rare example of the continuation of the fashion of the "Bianchi" Faenza into the 18th century: it is a decorative style known as "compendiaria maniera", a kind typical of the 16th century that brought about a real change in taste in the production of maiolica and that used only a few colors (yellow, blue and brown) in the creation of the decorations. The shell model, with its fan-shaped grooves, wavy edge and base adorned with rococo-style curves, comes from the oldest production and is in this example decorated with a simple pattern called "a peducci", on a white-enameled bottom. This pattern took its roots in earlier forms, such as in the motifs called “a merletto” (“lace motif”) in 17th century. Some examples of this decoration are published in Ravanelli Guidotti, Carmen. Thesaurus di opere della tradizione di Faenza. Faenza 1998 pp. 553-565, all datable to the beginning of the century. The decoration, which is concentrated only along the edge, is intentionally used to enhance the shape of the object. An indicative comparison is published in S. Levy, Maioliche romagnole, marchigiane, toscane; Maiolica italiana del XVIII, Milano 1970, tav. 178. Some examples with different decorations are known. Among these are exemplary compendiari with emblems or works with the most complex decorations, such as the splendid shell placed on the antiquarian market and decorated in polychrome by the painter of 1740 (Ravanelli Guidotti Carmen”, a cura di “La Fabbrica Ferniani. Ceramiche faentine dal barocco all’eclettismo, Milano 2009, p. 165, n. 5).


  • Creator
    Ferniani Factory (Manufacturer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 5.63 in. (14.3 cm)Width: 13.47 in. (34.2 cm)Depth: 14.73 in. (37.4 cm)
  • Style
    Baroque (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1700
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Mimetic restoration on the front and conservative restoration on the back, few additions.
  • Seller Location
    Milano, IT
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU4352214023792

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Milano, Italy
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Milano, Italy
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Established in 2013
1stDibs seller since 2018
8 sales on 1stDibs
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International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations
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