The vibrantly coloured and decorated heraldic tondi produced by the Della Robbia family created an insatiable demand among the Florentine elite of the 15th and 16th centuries. According to Gentilini (op. cit.,
p. 64), the earliest of such roundels in glazed terracotta, representing the Stemma della Marcanzia
on the Orsanmichele, Florence, was made around 1440-1445 by the founding father of the workshops, Luca della Robbia. His successors Andrea, and later Giovanni, continued to model these powerful status symbols for Tuscany's foremost noble families.
The present and the following lot have both been published with an attribution to Giovanni della Robbia, the most distinguished son of Andrea, who took over the running of the workshop in 1525. Compare Giovanni's Stemma of the Gaetani and Minerbetti
in the Museo Nazionale in Florence (Marquand, op. cit.
, fig. 24).
A. Marquand, Giovanni della Robbia
, Princeton, London and Oxford, 1920; G. Gentilini, I Della Robbia e l'arte nuova della scultura invetriata
, exh. cat. Florence, 1998
A Thermoluminescence Analysis Report conducted by Oxford Authentication (Sample No.: N117b98) stated that the date of last firing from the samples taken from this roundel was 'Between 300 and 600 years ago'. The report is available on request.