ajolica, spelled maiolica in Italian, the tin-oxide-glazed, painted
earthenware pottery of Italy, reached a summit of artistic quality during
the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Majolica resulted from the grafting
of the Islamic ceramic tradition of tin-glazing onto the ancient traditions
of native Italian pottery. This occurred early in the 15th century, when
sophisticated Hispano-Moresque wares from Valencia were imitated by Italian
potters. The name majolica is derived from the island of Majorca, the
headquarters of trading vessels sailing between Spanish and Italian ports.
One of the principal Italian centers of majolica production, the town of
Faenza, later gave its name to the French term for the ware, faience.
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