The J. Paul Getty Museum

Relief-Blue Jar with Dots

Object Details


Relief-Blue Jar with Dots






Florence (probably), Tuscany, Italy (Place Created)


about 1430–1450


Tin-glazed earthenware

Object Number:



16.5 × 10.5 × 17.8 cm (6 1/2 × 4 1/8 × 7 in.)

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Object Description

This small, rounded jar features five horizontal bands of ornamentation alternating with white reserves. Each band contains wavy lines, dots and dashes of brownish-purple manganese, and heavy circles of “relief blue.” This distinctive blue glaze was a preparation of cobalt and lead that could be painted on so thickly that it stood out from the surface of the pot after firing. While many relief-blue ceramics were painted with animals and leaf patterns, at least a dozen surviving works have more abstract motifs like this one. The interior of the jar is painted with a clear, lead glaze.

The jar is marked with a six-pointed asterisk below each handle. Scholars have not come to a consensus on the meaning of such marks, which appear on more than thirty other surviving jars. It may be related to a Florentine workshop operated by Giunta di Tugio (c. 1382 – c. 1450). Two other relief-blue jars in the Getty collection, one with a rampant lion and one with running boars, also bear this mark.


Stefano Bardini, 1836 - 1922 (Florence, Italy)

- 1910

Elie Volpi (Florence, Italy) [sold, Jandolo and Tavazzi, Rome, April 25 - May 3, 1910, lot 777, to Count Hans-Albrecht Harrach.]

1910 - 1953

Count Hans-Albrecht Harrach, German, 1873 - 1963 (Rome, Italy until 1914; Munich, Germany 1923 - 1943; Niederarnbach, near Ingolstadt/Donau, Germany after 1943) [sold, Lempertz, Cologne, May 6, 1953, lot 414.]

- 1965

Dr. Robert Bak (New York, New York) [sold, Sotheby's, New York, December 7, 1965, lot 15, to Erich Lederer.]

1965 - 1985

Erich Lederer, 1896 - 1985 (Geneva, Switzerland), by inheritance to his widow, Elisabeth Lederer, 1985.


Mrs. Elisabeth Lederer (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.