Look at this lovely platter I found at Home Goods for $12.99 and, BONUS, it was made in Italy! I love the colors and the pattern. It’s a bit smaller, only 9” x 14”, than some of my other serving dishes and it is exactly what I’ve been looking for! It’s not perfect…some of the glazing is inconsistent and there are some pinholes, but you have to look very closely to see the blemishes. Regardless, I love it!
Italian pottery is very expensive for a reason…it is typically all hand painted and glazed. Pottery has been produced in Italy since the 13th Century and it is known for its beautiful, elaborate and colorful never-fading designs. Crafters often borrowed images found in frescos, paintings and the Bible and this sort of pottery detailing became known as Istoriato or decorated Maiolica.
Eventually Italian towns, such as Siena, became renowned for their high-quality pottery but by the 19th Century, due to competition from France and Germany, and the demand for porcelain, Italian pottery’s popularity waned. Thankfully, a movement to rejuvenate the market was successful and a visit to Italy is not complete without the purchase of an earthenware treasure. Here is a photo of a pottery shop Sister took during our visit to Italy in October 2009.
The piece I found in Home Goods is a pattern called Raffaellesco made in Deruta, a town in Umbria. The pattern was inspired by the work of the artist Raphael, who was smitten with Nero’s grotto paintings. The dragon is the signature design of this pattern and it was believed that the mythical creature - a good luck charm - offered strong winds that safely brought seagoing merchants to their trade destinations.
A true find.