Florida Museum of Natural History
Florida Museum of Natural History Historical Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History
COLUMBIA PLAIN - TYPE INDEX


Image of Front
Type Name:
COLUMBIA PLAIN
Category:
MAJOLICA
Production Origin:
SPAIN
Production Date Range:
1490-1650
Defining Attributes:
Light cream to buff paste color, with a soft, chalky clay texture. Occasionally pink.

Off-white, cream, or grayish-white tin enamel, usually covering both sides of the vessel. The quality of the enamel varies widely among vessels, from thin, irregular and shiny, to thick, matte and smooth.

Appliquéd appendages sometimes occur on early examples, most often vertical I-shaped handles or everted, scalloped lugs.

Vessel Forms:
BOWL
CHAMBER POT
ESCUDILLA
INKWELL
JAR
PITCHER
PLATO
Comments:
Columbia Plain is part of the "Morisco" (Christianized Muslim) ceramic tradition of fifteenth century southwestern Spain, centered around Seville. It is the most frequently encountered majolica type on New World sites of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It’s paste and background enamel characteristics are shared by all of the commonly-occurring decorated Morisco tradition majolica types found in the Americas, including Yayal B/W, Santo Domingo Blue on White, Isabela Polychrome, Santa Elena Mottled). Certain formal characteristics sometimes help distinguish between "early" (pre-1550) and "late" (post-1550) Columbia Plain, such as a raised "dimple" in the center of a concave base, and variously shaped appliqued appendages. Ring feet are more common after 1550, although not exclusive to that period.
Published Definitions:
Deagan 1987; Fairbanks 1973; Goggin 1968; Lister and Lister 1982, 1987, 1991; Boone 1984