Maiolica is a technique developed in Italy in the 14th century where a terracotta body is covered by a glaze which includes tin oxide to give an opaque white ground. This technique was originally used in Europe to imitate Chinese porcelain before the secret of the method of making porcelain was discovered.
During the 15th and 16th centuries this opaque white ground then allowed the Italian potters to produced extravagant painted Renaissance style designs in the manner of the great artists of the day. These pieces have become extremely collectable and so have been reproduced since the middle part of the 19th century and this piece is a typical example of these later copies.
Cherished for generations, a colourful and characterful delight.