A housewarming gift

January 6, 2019


Majolica Bowl

C. 1879


Majolica wares have a porous earthenware body painted with colored glazes and finished with a thick layer of shiny clear glaze. The term “Majolica” refers to the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain, where colorful, yet unrelated, ceramic wares were produced in the 14th and 15th centuries.


This Majolica bowl belonged to the Physick family. According to oral histories, this piece was a housewarming gift when they moved into the home in 1879. It was originally in the formal parlor, where it still is on display today.


Notice the nature theme on the bowl. The Physick’s large Majolica bowl is unusual for the wealth of three-dimensional figures on it. The bowl features marsh life both above and below the waterline. The birds and flowers are obvious at first glance; however there are also the roots of the marsh grass, lily pads and sea shells, all below the waterline.


To learn more about this and other objects, please join a tour of the Emlen Physick Estate.

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