Ceramic tableware in the form of animals, vegetables, and fruit was intended to deceive, surprise, and amuse diners, and to create the impression of great abundance on dining tables and sideboards. These vibrant and vivacious ornamental vase-covers made by the Della Robbia workshop are early examples of naturalistically moulded and coloured ceramic fruit and vegetables that became popular in Europe.
Workshop of Giovanni Della Robbia (1469 –1529), Florence, Italy, c.1500 – 20
Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)
Louis C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960 (C.92.1 & A-1961 and C.92.2 & A-1961)