A spherical cap plate with an equine skull shield decoration and the "Anima Mia" monogram

Collezione Fondazione Cariparma

Collezione Fondazione Cariparma
Parma, Italy

This large plate is decorated on the wide brim with the so-called "peacock", a decoration of oriental derivation that recalls the feathers of the colorful bird, but revised and reworked by the Faenza craftsmen. Indeed majolica is part of the "peacock feather family", which is characterized by the ornament in the shape of a peacock's eye painted in orange yellow and finished with touches of green and dark blue, with light blue shaded highlights on white. A simple blue band with white stylized flowers marks the bottom, which has a big equine skull emblem, transformed into a shield with a circular handle, on which the three nails of Golgotha ​​stand perfectly crossed. To complete the frieze we find two rosettes, various fillers and the inscription in capital letters A I and M A, which can be interpreted as ANIMA or ANIMA MIA (SOUL or MY SOUL). Therefore, the image certainly summarizes a double religious and loving meaning, since the dish is similar to the most famous ones preserved in the Ceramic Museum of Faenza, with the emblems referring to Galeotto Manfredi and his beloved, Cassandra Pavoni, for whom the "peacock feather" decoration becomes a dedication. It was a long love story broken off only by his death, wich led Cassandra to become a nun with the name of Sister Benedetta. So the decoration, with the "peacock", the three nails of Golgotha ​​and the wording interpreted as My soul, assumes this double allusion to human and earthly love that sublimes into the divine, alluding to the life of Cassandra.


  • Title: A spherical cap plate with an equine skull shield decoration and the "Anima Mia" monogram
  • Location Created: Faenza
  • Physical Dimensions: h 4.4, w 26.7
  • Type: plate
  • Rights: Fondazione Cariparma
  • Medium: maiolica bianca suddipinta in policromia

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