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18th Century Pair of Italian Maiolica Pharmacy Flasks Milano, circa 1770-1780 For Sale
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18th Century Pair of Italian Maiolica Pharmacy Flasks Milano, circa 1770-1780

About

Two maiolica pharmacy flasks Milan, Felice Clerici Manufacture, 1770-1780 They each measure 9.44 in (24 cm) in height x 6.10 in (15.5 cm) in diameter lb 4 (kg 1.8) State of conservation: intact with very slight chips. The maiolica and porcelain factories of the eighteenth century mainly belonged to great royal or noble families who made the manufacture of ceramic works a motif of prestige. In Milan instead, under Maria Theresa of Austria, we observe the opening of new factories which, by virtue of the privatization granted by the government, took a real business risk and gave rise to flourishing factories. Among these, we can find that of Felice Clerici, whose production was among the most elegant and requested of the moment. The entrepreneur founded his own company in 1745 and inserted himself brilliantly in the new European stylistic movement which saw maiolica in full competition with European porcelain in terms of taste and the refined quality of its production. These two maiolica flasks have a globe-shaped body, with a high neck terminating in a mouth and a small beak to permit the pouring of liquids; they rest on a low goblet with a rounded concave base. The ornamentation on the front, with knots of thin ribbons and floral festoons on the shoulder, shows an elegant medallion decorated with a landscape in purple grisaille. A stylized acanthus leaf motif garnishes the glass, while the neck mimics an ashlar pattern. At the center of the vases, there is cursive apothecary writing outlined in manganese brown indicating the contents of each: “Acqua di Sambuco” (Elderberry Water: the bark was used as a purgative, the flowers as stimulants and sudorifics, the fruit for dysentery) and “Acqua di Spermaran” (Sperm Frog Water or Sperniola: used to refresh, relieve pain and inflammation. See Cristoforo Masino, Voci di Speziera dei secoli XIV-XVIII, Piacenza 1988). The colors are bright and lively with a prevalence of green copper and an ample use of purple. Some pieces of the same series are kept in private Milanese collections and a jug is displayed in the windows of the International Ceramics Museum in Faenza. The secondary elements of the decoration have a design similar to that of the vessels of the Pharmacy of the Charity Hospital of Novara (now exhibited in the Civic Museum of Novara, nn. inv. 155-165; at Palazzo Madama in Turin; in the Civic Collections of the Castello Sforzesco, nn. inv. 369 e 1471). The origin of these vases, in the past traditionally considered to be from Lodi, Turin or Pesaro, has definitively been attributed to Milan due to studies done by Raffaella Ausenda, who demonstrated their Milanese provenance. See Raffaella Ausenda, Vasi da Farmacia di Felice Clerici, in Atti XLI Convegno Internazionale della Ceramica, Savona 2008, pp. 39-40 e cfr. Raffaella Ausenda in Ausenda, a cura di, Musei d’Arti Applicate, Tomo II, Milano 2001 n. 364, p. 385.

Details

  • Creator
    Felice Clerici (Maker)
  • Of the Period
    Neoclassical
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1770
  • Period
    1770-1779
  • Materials and Techniques
    GlazedMaiolica
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    Intact with very slight chips.
  • Wear
    Minor fading.
  • Dimensions
    H 9.45 in. x Dm 6.11 in.H 24 cm x Dm 15.5 cm
  • Diameter
    6.11 in. (15.5 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Milano, IT
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU4352216711111
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Associations: International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations
1stdibs seller since 2018
Typical response time: <1 hour
Located in Milano, IT
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