Bordalo Pinheiro Majolica
Bordalo Pinheiro majolica refers to decorated earthenware pottery made by the Portuguese artist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.
History & Description
Rafael was an illustrator, caricaturist, sculptor and potter. He was taught by his father, the painter Manuel Maria and his younger brother was the celebrated nineteenth century Portuguese realist painter, Columbano.
In 1885, Rafael founded a ceramics factory in Caldas da Rainha, in central Portugal, where he created some of his most well-known ceramic products. Today, the city is synonymous with Rafael’s pottery and the factory is still in business.
Rafael’s majolica pottery is characterised by whimsical, almost cartoonist, designs and are often completed in bright colours.
Guide for collectors
Bordalo Pinheiro majolica is occasionally advertised on eBay, but collectors should be warned that these products are either contemporary designs or reproductions and prices rarely exceed $50. Original majolica products, made by Rafael himself, are almost always sold through national auction houses.
The maker’s mark is a black frog and is typically found on the underside of the product.
For more information, collectors should visit the official Bordalo Majolica website.
Notable auction sales
On October 26th 2006 at Majolica Auctions in Wolcottville, Indiana, a monumental platter, decorated with bird-of-prey and leaves, circa 1884 to 1894, realised a price of $3,400.
On October 28th 2006 at Majolica Auctions, a monumental platter, decorated with playing frogs, circa 1884 to 1894, realised a price of $2,000.
On October 30th 2010 at Strawser Auction Group in Wolcottville, Indiana, a rare ewer in the shape of a praying lizard realised a price of $1,600.
On March 25th 2006 at Majolica Auctions, a platter decorated with a large lobster, circa 1884-1894, realised a price of $1,000.
On March 29th 2009 at St. Charles Gallery Inc. in New Orleans, Louisiana, a set of twelve dessert bowls realised a price of $150.