Wine cooler with A Pageant Battle with Elephants

Maker: Workshop of the Fontana family (Italian, active ca. 1553–80)

Date: ca. 1562–75

Culture: Italian, Urbino

Medium: Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware)

Dimensions: Overall (confirmed): 12 7/8 × 23 1/2 × 23 1/2 in. (32.7 × 59.7 × 59.7 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Pottery

Credit Line: The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931

Accession Number: 32.100.362


The battle with elephants depicted in the interior of the basin is probably after a design by Taddeo Zuccaro (1529–1566). Cisterns such as this were used at large feasts or banquets to keep wine cool. The cistern would be filled with cold water and the wine receptables placed inside.