Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Today I made a break with Toni Wallace (our Site ID specialist) and West Central Director Jeff Moates to meet up with a local diver in Volusia County.  Our mission: record an underwater wreck for the Florida Master Site File.  You can read about our adventure in a News-Observer article set to print Friday and upcoming blog post by Toni, but for now I'll wet [sic] your appetite with an artifact we observed and left on site.


What is the form of the artifact or help us out with what you think it's made out of.  Any diagnostic information gets you one of our "Nightsoil Happens" t-shirts.  The shirt looks homemade, because it is.

Last week's answer: My best guess is a 1920s reproduction of a famous local portrait near Pisa.

The vase featured portraits of 15th-century figures Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza by Piero della Francesca (thanks to the owner of the artifact who helped research the object and sent me this link).  While the vase replicates this famous 15th century portrait, I do not believe the vase dates to this time.  The makers mark on the bottom of the vase led me to a maker's mark website that said the Mannozzi company was located in Montopoli near Pisa in the 1920's and produced sgraffito ware (Italian Pottery Marks).  For more on sgraffito check out this encyclopedia entry or check out these entries from the Florida Museum of Natural History's digital type collection.

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