mended earthenware vessel with handpainted blue decoration
Andalusian maiolica jug
  • Material – Earthenware
  • Place of Origin – Spain
  • Date – 16th-17th century
  • Location – Collections

An Andalusian maiolica type known in North America as Santo Domingo Blue on White was manufactured in Seville by moriscos, Muslims who were forced to convert to Christianity after the Christian Reconquista. Santo Domingo Blue on White is found throughout the Spanish Caribbean and southeast North America in ca. 1550-1630 archaeological contexts.  The ware was recovered from three sunken Spanish ships: the San Antonio that wrecked near Bermuda in 1621, the Atocha that wrecked off the coast of Florida in 1622, and the Tortugas wreck off the Florida Keys.  It is identified in the Rediscovery database as Andalusian maiolica, and as Santo Domingo Blue on White under genre.


Fabric: Pinkish-buff fabric with fine mineral tempering typical of morisco tin-glazed wares from southeast Spain.

Glaze: Thinly glazed with lead containing tin oxide appearing light gray. Irregularities are clearly visible on the surface of the glaze.

Decoration: Hand-painted on the exterior below the glaze with a simple cobalt blue brush strokes resembling foliage.

Form: The only form in this ware from James Fort is a jug with heavy throwing rings on the body, a flat base, rounded shoulders, and outturned rim, squared on the edge.

related images


Deagan, Kathleen (1987) Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean, 1500-1800, Volume I: Ceramics, Glassware, and Beads. Smithsonian Press: Washington, D.C. 

Lister, Florence C. and Robert H. Lister (1974) Maiolica in Colonial Spanish America. In Historical Archaeology (8): 17-52. 

Lister, Florence C. and Robert H. Lister (1987) Andalusian Ceramics in Spain and New Spain: A Cultural Register from the Third Century B.C. to 1700. University of Arizona Press: Tucson, AZ. 

Stemm, Gregory, E. Gerth, J. Flow, C. Lozano Guerra-Librero, and S. Kingsley (2013) The Deep-Sea Tortugas Shipwreck, Florida: A Spanish-Operated Navio of the 1622 Tierra Firme Fleet. Part 2: the Artifacts. In Oceans Odyssey 3. The Deep-Sea Tortugas Shipwreck, Straits of Florida : A Merchant Vessel from Spain’s 1622 Tierra Firme Fleet, Greg Stemm and Sean A. Kingsley, editors. Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK.