MAIOLICA AND PORCELAIN
Antonio Maria Coppellotti Manufacture
Lodi, Circa 1740
High fire polychrome maiolica
Diametro cm 43,5;
Diametro del piede cm 29,3;
7.87 in x 6,49 x 5.11 (20 cm x 16,5 x 13); weight 1.23 lb (561 g)
State of conservation:
the coffee pot is in excellent condition except for some chipping from use and some subtle, insignificant heat fêlures along the body. The lid has been restored.
The coffeepot, with an enlarged, ribbed, pyriform body and belly, rests on a barely visible flat foot. It has a beak pourer and shaped handle; the lid rises low above the body, is poded and surmounted by a button knob (restored).
The shape is typical of the works produced by the Lodi factories of the first half of the 18th century and is inspired by silverware models.
On the front of the container, the high-fire polychromy decoration shows a couple of figures dressed in “Turkish-style” on a clump of earth: there is a seated woman and a man standing between two small trees coming towards her.
On one side, on another clump of earth, you can see a building with towers and, on the other side, on two separate clumps, a fawn and a bird on the ground near some small trees. The composition is completed by insects and butterflies, some of which are painted on the handle. The lid, consistent in shape, bears an ornament with rocaille that is stylistically different from the rest of the composition.
The brand with the “AMC” monogram is painted under the foot and here it is also associated with the word “Lodi” in cobalt blue.
The coffee pot can be attributed with certainty, thanks to the brand mark, to the well-known Lodi manufacture of Anton Maria Coppellotti in the years around 1740. It was around this time that the factory abandoned the Baroque decorative canons for the new trends in fashion, including that of the “paesini e figure” (villages and figure), a style which catalogs a few and rare known examples of closed forms and a greater number of open forms (non capisco bene cosa volete dire per “closed and open forms”).
The coffee pot was exhibited in the famous Lombard maiolica exhibition in 1964 (G. Gregorietti, Maioliche di Lodi, Milano e Pavia, catalogo della mostra, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milano 1964, n. 72) and still bears the display label under the base.
It also bears the label of Rodolfo Subert, antique dealer and great-grandfather of this writer, whose shop in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan was destroyed by bombing in August 1943.
A comparative example, without a lid, is kept in the Musèe National de la Céramique in Sévres (inv. 02CE4592- 908511). Another one, also without a lid, is present in a private collection (Felice Ferrari, La ceramica di Lodi, Lodi 2003 p. 157).
The first mention of the Coppellotti family as potters comes from archival documents which record the official request of an unknown Giovanni Coppellotti to open a majolica factory in Lodi in 1674.
The factory, located near the church of St. Philip seems to have been immediately quite successful. However, it was only in 1679, when the management of the factory passed to Antonio Giovanni Maria Coppellotti – the son or perhaps grandson of the original Giovanni – that the production reached the peak of success and became an example for the main Italian manufactures of the time, especially those in Veneto and Liguria. In 1728 the factory had to move outside the city walls at the behest of the authorities, who feared the possibility of fires.
The activity continued until about 1750, the year of Anton Maria’s death and resumed later with his son, Bassano Coppellotti, under the guide of some other directors, among whom we note: first, G. Moroni, followed by Giulio Berinzaghi and in 1771 Pedrinazzi. Finally, in 1787 a new municipal ordinance ordered the definitive closure of the manufactory.
The maiolica produced during the initial period are characterized by the use of a thick, velvety enamel and have ornaments ranging from monochrome turquoise with Italian (ruins, castles, flowers) and French motifs (“rabeschi”, ramage), to decorations in the manner of Chinese porcelain and oriental inspiration.
Of particular importance are ornaments of Baroque fruit which show the amazing relief effects produced by using the red tone called “Armenian bolus”. This great variety of decorations appeared between 1735 and 1740 by which time, alongside the production of turquoise monochrome, polychromy with high fire technique was firmly established. The brand precisely identifying the maiolica of this factory is rare and uses a woven “AMC” monogram. It was sometimes done in different colors and was sometimes accompanied by the names of the painters and modelers of the manufacture.
C. Baroni, La maiolica antica di Lodi, in “Archivio storico lombardo” LVIII, 1930, pp. 448 s., 455-457.
A. Minghetti, I ceramisti italiani, Roma 1946, p. 129.
S. Levy, Maioliche settecentesche lombarde e venete, Milano 1962, pp. 15-17, tavv. 121-150.
G. Gregorietti Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Maioliche di Lodi, Milano e Pavia, catalogo della mostra, Milano 1964, n. 72.
A. Novasconi – S. Ferrari – S. Corvi, La ceramica lodigiana, Milano 1964, pp. 23, 27, 34-36, 47, ill. pp. 53-121.
O. G. C. Sciolla, Museo civico di Lodi, Bologna 1977, pp. VIII s.; tavv. pp. 72-76, 78.
M. L. Gelmini, Maioliche lodigiane del ‘700, Milano 1995.
Felice Ferrari, La ceramica di Lodi, Lodi 2003.