This beautiful oval baroque bowl (ciotola barocca) is from one of the kilns of Deruta, Italy, a medieval town in Umbria. Deruta is a major center for the production of maiolica (painted tin-glazed pottery). The tin glaze is a white coating over the earthenware that is decorated by hand with colorful mineral glazes.
This large old bowl is painted with an incised pink, blue and yellow flower in the center, surrounded by dark green foliage. There are four raised designs around the upper edges, painted yellow with incised crosshatching and cobalt blue leaves. The rim has raised scallops painted brown, with a pierced handle at each end.
The underside of the piece is painted a tan color with a darker brown wash. It is hand signed: DIP. A MANO (the abbreviation for dipinto a mano, which means painted by hand) and DERUTA. The absence of the word Italy indicates this was not made for export, but for local sale. We've included an old black and white photo of one of the maiolica shops in Deruta.
This is a gorgeous bowl that measures 15 1/2 inches long, 12 inches front to back and 2 1/2 inches high. It weighs 3 pounds and is in very good condition, with some flaking of the paint around the edges (pictured) the only sign of wear. Wonderful as a centerpiece, it can also be propped on edge to admire its artistry.