This exquisite porcelain nut bowl was created by the famed Italian ceramics firm of Richard Ginori. The Doccia Porcelain Factory was founded in the village of Doccia, in Sesto Fiorentino, north of Florence, in 1735 by Marchese Carlo Ginori, after he searched Tuscany for kaolin, the clay necessary for making porcelain. Pieces by Ginori are sometimes referred to as Doccia (pronounced Dotcha) porcelains. The porcelains were collected by the Medici family and Napoléon Bonaparte, along with much of Europe's aristocracy. In 1896, in order to expand their business, the descendants of Carlo Ginori merged with the Società Ceramica Richard of Milan, a ceramics manufacturer, and became Richard Ginori. We've included a photo of a 1924 advertisement of theirs. Today, the company is owned by Gucci.
The pattern was named "Pastorale," which translated from the Italian is 'pastoral,' defined as 'associated with country life.' The pure white porcelain bowl features a scene of a maiden in a country setting, clutching a large jug, done in blue and surrounded by a wreath of gilded leaves, which is in turn surrounded by an embossed basket weave pattern. The scalloped rim is encircled in a line of blue and glossy gilt.
The bottom of the bowl is marked with the Richard Ginori Italy coronet stamp in green, along with a gold cartouche with "Finest in China Since 1735," obviously a reference to the original founding date. It's 4 1/2 inches wide, 4 1/2 inches long and 1 1/4 inches high; the bowl is in excellent condition, with very minimal wear to the gilded rim. This bowl is part of the Richard Ginori tradition of turning clay into beautiful porcelains.
***The Italian print by Fratelli Alinari show in our photos is available here: