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Exceptionally well painted, this large jug is decorated all over in grotesque style.
On the front, a coat of arms inscribed I.C. below a crown, is depicted on a blue ground in an encircled medallion.
The grotesques are finely painted and the two figures flanking the medallion are of unusual size and quality.
The base is unmarked.
The coat of arms combines two families. Thanks to Prof. Michael Brody we've identified the sinister arms (on the right side of the jug from a viewer's point of view) as belonging to the Pio da Carpi family.
(Rodolfo Pio da Carpi (22 February 1500 – 2 May 1564) was an Italian Cardinal, humanist and patron of the arts. He formed a great library and was at the center of humanist studies in 16th-century Rome, though serving on the Roman Inquisition. He was a trusted advisor to Pope Pius III and helped to establish the Inquisition at Milan. - source: Wikipedia)
Condition: A circular hairline on the flat area where the neck extends into the body. Areas of restoration: One area where the handle meets the body, another a few centimeters higher in, towards the attaching part between handle and neck is situated, another just above that, another just above the ornament consisting of leaves, another where the handle meets the spout. These all disguise breaks, in our opinion. Then two areas of restoration on the back of each round part just above the neck opening, and on the tip of the spout. The body with a number of scratches and areas of slight rubbing. Towards the base, restoration and overpainting just above where the body meets the foot, circular and extending over the entire surface, possibly with unoriginal material added.
H: 34 cm
For a jug of similar shape but smaller, see Christie's, Paris, Sale 3628, Lot 3.