'Persian palmette', Palmetta persiana, ornament of this type originated from pomegranate motifs in Islamic textiles which were imported into Europe during the Renaissance. Variations of the pattern appear on Tuscan pottery from around the 1480s.
A particularly close albarello in this minimal colour palette though decorated with vertical palmettes is published by Dora Thornton and Timothy Wilson, Italian Renaissance Ceramics, A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, Vol. I, London, 2009, p. 199, no. 125. The authors note the two categories of decoration distinguished by Cora, one of more natural flowerheads issuing from curving vine (like that seen on the present lot) and a more geometric pattern like the British Museum example. See Cora, op. cit, for a two-handled jar now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a further albarello painted in the same manner.1 Traditionally catalogued as Cafaggiolo, the type was re-attributed to Montelupo following the 1973 excavation of the pozzo dei lavatoi where objects and sherds decorated in this pattern were found.2 Sartori was active circa 1490-1530.
1. The albarello illustrated is perhaps the example sold, Sotheby's Florence, 19th October 1970, lot 4.
2. Thornton and Wilson, op. cit., p. 199.
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