“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mysterious Majolica Beasts

On my travels I have visited a number of places that have Majolica floor tiles on display. Majolica pottery is a distinctive Italian style of pottery which dates from the Renaissance period. Majolica pottery is typified by its bright colours that are set over a white background. The name Majolica is believed to have been derived from a medieval Italian word for the island of Majorca, the rational being that Spanish Moorish potters would have originally brought the pottery style from Majorca to Italy.

Majolica floor tiles are usually interesting as they often depict weird and wonderful creatures that are either creations of the artists mind or real beasts that are not known to man (well not known to me at least). Below is a selection of some of the Majolica floor tiles that I have come across, these are either 14th Century Majolica tiles from the Palais Des Papes in Avignon or 16th Century Flemish Majolica tiles from The Vyne near Basingstoke.

Please feel free to post in the comment section if you know what animals the tiles are supposed to represent.

A scaled beast.
Two freaky beasts getting it on?
An odd human-like skull.
A shelled creature.
A 16th century elf?
A weird fish ready for a kiss?
Some form of dog?
A bird?
A young Nessie?
Pictures, France (October 2012) & Hampshire (July 2013).

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