Open main menu



English Wikipedia has an article on:
Example of tin-glazed majolica.
Minton coloured lead glazes majolica flower vase, shape first shown 1851


Majolica is an Anglicized version of the Italian maiolica. It is named after the Island of Majorca [1] (formerly known as Maiolica), which was once a commerce center for work produced in Valencia, Spain.


majolica (countable and uncountable, plural majolicas)

  1. A fine Italian tin-glazed earthenware, coated with opaque white enamel and ornamented with metallic colours.
  2. An English tin-glazed earthenware, coated with opaque white enamel, ornamented with metal oxide colours, finely brush-painted decoration, manufactured by Minton & Co from 1850 to about 1870 in imitation of Italian Renaissance maiolica. Minton named the product ‘majolica’[2]. "Majolica was produced for the first time by Messrs. Minton, in 1850, and they have been for many years the only producers of this article." Never mass-produced. Very rare.
  3. A lead-glazed earthenware decorated with colored lead glazes applied directly to an unglazed body, then fired. Typically hard-wearing, relief molded, in classical or naturalistic styles. Named Palissy ware by Minton & Co.[3], soon became known as ‘majolica’. Introduced in 1851[4], widely copied and mass-produced.
  4. Any other kind of glazed coloured earthenware or faience.


  1. ^ Arthur Beckwith, 1877, Majolica and Fayence, Italian, Sicilian, Majorcan, Hispano-Moresque and Persian, D. Appleton and Company, New York
  2. ^ Leon Arnoux (1877), 'British Manufacturing Industries', POTTERY by L. Arnoux[1]
  3. ^ Leon Arnoux (1867), Paris Exhibition, Report on Pottery[2]
  4. ^ The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue (1851)[3]

Alternative formsEdit


  • Krueger, Dennis (December 1982). "Why On Earth Do They Call It Throwing?" Studio Potter Vol. 11, Number 1.[4] (etymology)
  • “majolica” in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary: Based on Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, 8th edition, Springfield, Mass.: G[eorge] & C[harles] Merriam, 1973 (1974 printing), OCLC 299192187.
  • The Journal of Design and Manufactures Vol III (1850), Original papers: The exhibition of medieval art at the Society of Arts., pp 67-73
  • London Journal of Arts (1851) 39, p 61
  • Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue in Three Volumes, Volume II. (1851) London. W. Clowes & Sons Catalogue Entries 72, 74.
  • Lecture XXIII 'On Ceramic Manufactures, Porcelain and Pottery', L. Arnoux, Esq., 'Lectures on the Results of the Great Exhibition of 1851'; published London (1853) by David Rogue, 86 Fleet Street.
  • The Illustrated London News, Nov. 10, 1855, p.561