This stunning lidded urn might have once been found in a 19th century Italian apothecary. The front of the shaped urn body has the hand-painted phrase “C. Violarũ”, which is the heavily abbreviated form of the Latin word for violet (violaceum). Up until the mid-1700’s, apothecaries would make syrups from violets and use it to treat kidney ailments.
Above the Latin wording is a whimsical musical scene with a man blowing a horn leading a couple who is holding hands over rocky terrain lined with shrubbery. A large house and trees can be seen behind the trio with a pair of mountains in the distance. On the opposite side of the urn is a floral display with a bird perched on a rock. Beneath the bird is a geometric design, possibly a stylized sun with radiating beams of light. Both scenes are segmented by a pair of thin quarter round moldings that encircle the entire vase.
Other hand-painted motifs include floral and foliate margents, geometric patterns, and Vitruvian waves that are infilled with horizontal fluting. The sides of the urn have a fish-scale background beneath two mustachioed mascarons. Both men have been styled in grotesque fashion, with a pair of spiraled horns emanating from their heads. In between the horns is a looping handle that is affixed to the body in similar tight spirals. The domed lid has three scrolled arms that merge in a geometric finial.
The base color of the urn is white, with illustrations in a monochromatic cobalt oxide blue, reminiscent of Delft blue pottery from the 17th and 18th centuries. Different paints would have been used, as those with higher cobalt oxide concentrations produce brighter blues when the urn was fired. Standing at 29 inches tall, our Italian blue and white lidded urn will make a beautiful accessory to any home.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use with minor buildup, craquelure, and rubs. The lid has been professionally restored. Please see photos for details.