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Finely handcrafted, genuinely Italian





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Pilgrim Flask

Size: Height 8.2" - 21 cm

Maximum 40 characters

Code: CG274/01
This lovely flask is handmade using the sgraffito technique, which was very popular in Mantova in the 15th century. Its vibrant colors and richly detailed design are faithful to local tradition and highly distinctive.

Descriptions & details

Pilgrims of every religion used flasks similar to this one through almost every historical period to bring home sacred water or oil from the great pilgrimage sites. Metalworkers and potters patterned their flasks from the shape of dried gourds used by travelers to carry drinking water. A round shape almost invariably characterized the flasks together with a little neck and two to four loops. The pilgrims used ropes or leather straps inserted through the loops to carry the vessels over their shoulders or slung over the backs of their horses. At the end of the 15th century, richly decorated pilgrim flasks became a fashionable aristocratic tableware item or a precious home decor accent.

This pilgrim flask is made by Irma, the founder of Corte dei Gonzaga. Passionate about the heritage and traditions of her native city, Mantova, she has thoroughly researched the production methods and designs of local ceramics and devoted her talents to giving them a new life.

Dimensions (inches): 6x4.7x8.2h
Dimensions (cm): 16x12x21h

La Corte dei Gonzaga's pieces are entirely handmade. Minor variations from the above picture are a sign and proof of human touch, making each and every piece unique.

Handmade & hand-painted in Mantova, Italy
Material: ceramic

The artisan

Irma is a talented artisan from Mantova (Mantua in English), a charming town in the north of Italy, who has taken upon herself the ambitious task to revive the ancient glory of the local ceramic tradition.
As a first step, she named her studio after the Gonzaga dynasty, rulers of Mantova and patrons of the arts from 1328 to 1707. Then she adopted the technique used in the region when Mantova ceramics reached the peak of their popularity. The method, known as sgraffito, consists in scratching the design on the first layer of glaze (engobe). After the first firing, she paints the pottery and proceeds to a second firing. Finally, she molds and decorates her pottery drawing inspiration from traditional shapes and designs.

Mantova owes its good name in the history of Italian ceramics to the quality and beauty of its sgraffito ceramics, handcrafted locally from the 15th to the 17th century.
Thanks to the increasing trade with the Middle East, the sgraffito technique had become known in Italy in the 10th century. Still, the artisans in Mantova took it to new heights with the patronage of the Gonzaga during the Renaissance. They made significant contributions to Italian culture, and under their rule, Mantova became a center of humanism and art.

Delivery and refunds

Handcrafted for you, ships in 4-6 weeks
Insured express delivery from Italy

Shipping charges to the US:
- shipping to the US is $30 - free shipping over $250
- Customs duties are always on us
For any other destination, please view our Shipping Policy

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