This super flagon is 12 3/4 inches tall, done with deep coloration and has fabulous depth to it's entire design. It is comprised of two couples dancing around a gray stone turret. It doesn't matter which side you view the piece as you will find two dancers. Above and below the turret you will find a wonderful dimensional border created by a weave of vines and leaves. The lid is also gray to represent the turret's roof and is accented with a jester's head. And be sure to notice the great "woven" branch handle!
The earthenware is in an excellent overall condition. You won't find any nasty scratches, abrasions, small chips or nicks. There are two spots of damage to report. On the lid (photo # 9) there is a thin 1 1/2' long crack that goes all the way thru the pottery. It appears to be a stress crack as on the interior of the lid it runs from metal rivet to rivet of the lid's metal edge frame. The other spot is at the back side of the jester (photo's 7 & 8). It is a broken off cream colored end piece of pottery. It is next to the metal thumb tab for opening the lid. It is 3/4" wide at the break and is of an unknown length as we do not have the piece. The metal rims for the lid and neck are all intact and secure. The thumb tab is secure and the hinge is all original in smooth working order. As stated before the artistry is all intact with lovely depth of colors and no damage spots to declare.
The marks are on the base of the flagon. There is the rectangular block letter "MINTON" used 1862 and after, the curved mark is for 1875, the "D" is for December. I can not find any reference for the painted rectangle with the impressed line in it's center. The 1231 is the pattern/model number for the piece. The photo insert at the top left is a painted navy squiggle that I am assuming is an artist mark located at the bottom portion of the base of the flagon.
Majolica started out in Spain in the late 1400's early 1500's as a tin glazed lusterware. Italy imported it and was so enamored by it that they called it "Maiolica" and went on to produce their own version. In the 1500's Bernard Palissy of France did his version and produced usable objects with motifs like flowers, fruit and sea creatures. Minton then did his own twist and exhibited a new line of ceramics at London's Great Exhibition of 1851. He called it Palissy ware in tribute to Mr. Palissy. But it was so like the tin glazed lusterware called Maiolica in Italy that Minton ended up doing an English version of the name & Victorian Majolica was born. It became so popular that Majolica was soon made thru out the world with Italy, Germany, France and the USA being prime producers along with England. This design is one of Minton's most famous.