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Spindle Whorls or Beads

16th century
Artist/maker unknown, Italian
Maiolica is an Italian term used to describe this kind of tin-glazed ceramic, which reached a height of popularity during the 1400s and 1500s. Fairly inexpensive, maiolica wares were suitable for everyday use, and these simple balls of glazed ceramic would have been used as a weight added to a spindle to increase and maintain a consistent spin in twisting fibers into yarn. Most of these beads bear the names of women, including Sobastiana Bella (Beautiful Sebastiana,) and Chiara Bella (Beautiful Chiara.) Presumably, they were presents from admirers.

Object Details

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