English, est. 1793
Nut dish, c. 1869
13.2 x 24.5 x 19.1 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Kathleen and A. Lorne Campbell
This whimsical nut dish—the presence of the squirrel providing a clue to its function—is a wonderful example of majolica, a type of art pottery initially developed at the Minton factory around 1850, and first displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. The term majolica is derived from maiolica, used to describe a specific tin-glazed earthenware that originated in Italy in the fourteenth century. Majolica, however, employs lead glazes and is identifable by rather vivid colours of deep intensities and, usually, molded surfaces, both of which are notable in this example. Although Minton was the first factory to produce such wares, they became quite popular and widespread in Victorian England and further afield in Continental Europe and North America.