Oil Jars, Vases & Urns

Terracotta jars were historically used to store, and transport liquids such as oil & wine and so were glazed on the inside.  Decorations were often limited to raised bands that served a practical function as the bands made it possible to lift and move the object by guaranteeing a better grip. Nowadays, the jars are mainly produced for gardening and decor purposes without the need for glazing. Although usually limited on this style of terracotta container, any decoration is more for the enjoyment of the owner than for any practical use.

The orcio is one of the key articles in the production of terracotta pots and is thought to have first appeared in the historical residences of the noble families of cities such as Florence and Siena around 1600.  It is a kind of amphora, but with a fuller-bodied shape and more ornate decorations with two handles on the upper part.  It’s substantial, rotund shape is usually characterised by two or more bands embracing its generous belly which can be covered in decorations, festoons or plaques indicating the craftsman who produced the piece.

It would be fair to say that the classical Tuscan orcio is a unique object that epitomises all the tradition and history of Tuscan terracotta and as decorative objects of art, terracotta jars, vases & urns lend grace and are often used as the centre of gravity in any room or garden.  We are delighted to have a fabulous selection of these Italian jars in various shapes and sizes as well as our unique antique collection which can be viewed here.

The two large pots I bought form Mud Mountain are magnificent and good value. The service, delivery and advice were all excellent. A real find.

Mr S Tiffin, Stoke Abbott, Dorset

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