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Majolica (Maiolica)

Italian and Spanish pottery coated with a tin enamel and painted with bright colors.

Tin-glazed earthenware, particularly such ware produced in Italy. The term originally referred to the island of Majorca (or an alternate theory has it referring to Malaga), and designated only Hispano-Moresque lusterware; but since the 16th century it has been used to refer to Italian tin-glazed ware and imitations of the Italian ware.

It is characterized by painted decoration of high quality executed in several colors on the dry but unfired tin glaze, generally with a final coating of clear lead glaze. The range of colors is typically limited to cobalt blue, copper green, manganese purple, antimony yellow, and iron red, with white provided by the tin-glaze material.

When white is used for painting, it is applied onto a bluish-white glaze or blue ground. The luster is typically a golden color derived from silver or a mother-of-pearl effect.

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