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What are Antique Orci: Definition and Characteristics

What are ancient jars

What are Antique Orci: Definition and Characteristics

What are Antique Orci: Definition and Characteristics


Antique 'orci' are objects that most represent the world of terracotta.

Their first appearance dates back to around 1600, in the ancient households of Florentine and Sienese nobility.

What does 'orcio' mean?

It is a term used to describe a bulging terracotta vase, entirely handcrafted, and this term is primarily used in central Italy.

It could be said to be a variation of the amphora, but the 'orcio' is more generous in shape and decoration. Generally, the 'orcio' of recovery has a solemn and rounded shape, characterized by two or more bands that wrap around it. At the top, we find two handles, while the belly is always adorned with festoons, decorations, or the emblem representing the artisan producer.

Characteristics and Uses

Today, it is an object mainly dedicated to adorning gardens or the interiors of villas and mansions, but in antiquity, it was used to contain oil, wine, and even wheat.

In ancient times, it was primarily used for storing liquids. Usually, it was a very large container, but there were also smaller-sized 'orci', mostly used as pitchers. The same term also referred to another vase characterized by an elongated shape but mainly used for storing wine.

We speak of 'ziro' when it is more slender in shape and glazed inside to contain oil. The decoration is sometimes limited to some relief bands, as it serves a practical use. These bands allow lifting and moving the object, ensuring a good grip.

Today, we can affirm that the classic Tuscan 'orcio' is a unique and inimitable element in its kind, encapsulating the entire tradition and history of Tuscan terracotta.

Thanks to the properties of marl, a particular type of clay that makes it unalterable in the cold, today the 'orcio' is also used as garden furniture.

The antique 'orcio' is part of the Etruscan house and, later, during the Roman Empire, it is buried.

Among the most emblematic objects in the production of terracotta, the antique 'orcio' plays the leading role.

The classic 'orcio' from central Italy, or rather the Tuscan 'orcio', is a unique element of its kind, encompassing the entire tradition of Tuscan terracotta. Among the most famous still-active furnaces are those in Impruneta and Montelupo.

Did You Know?

The term 'orcio' is also used as a unit of measurement for volume, in which case it refers to a twelfth of a 'cogno', or 37.98 gallons.

And did you know that in XNUMX, the XNUMXst edition of the Accademia della Crusca’s dictionary defines 'orcio' as a terracotta vase?

At RA-MA you find everything you're looking for!

At RA-MA, we have selected a wide range of antique 'orci'. Let yourself be tempted and choose the perfect item for you from our articles.

Take a look at our RA-MA selection and make the time spent in the garden a pleasant experience for both mind and body, with the sole purpose of finding relaxation.

And remember, antique 'orci' never go out of style!

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