Spain And Majorca Pottery

The Arabs held sway in Spain from the year A. D. 710 until nearly 1100; the Moors conquered the country and established the kingdom of Granada in 1235. It is known that potteries had been established in Valencia previous to its capture by the Moors under Jayme I, of Arragon, in 1239. What was produced previous to this date is unknown, but this date can be affixed with certainty to the production of lustred stanniferous enamelled pieces known as Hispano-moresque.

This lustre and stanniferous enamel was undoubtedly introduced into Spain from Persia through Arabia. We think the supposition correct that this same ware was produced on the island of Majorca as early as, if not before, 1235, and was largely exported into Italy, where it was called Maiolica ware (Maiolica being the old pronunciation of Majorca).

Majolica, if correctly applied, would designate only lustred stanniferous enamelled ware produced upon the island. But modern custom has made the word apply to all the Italian enamelled wares produced since the time of Lucca della Robbia.