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In Sevilla, Spain, one of the – supposedly – most beautiful houses in town is called Casa de Pilatos. This ducal house dates back to the mid-16th century and is reknown for its tile walls (‘azulejos’), featuring Arabic influences in this region, and the many statues in Roman and Greek style [1]. A strange but not unpleasant mixture.

CdP_1

However, something else caught my attention. In the eastern rose garden, around the statue of a boy and a bird (symbol for Eros), the ground is laid with ceramic tiles, showing different designs. I found towers, birds, and deers, among others. Only one tile featuring a snail could be found. It is a stylised snail, with two tentacles, with a sinistral shell.

CdP_2

CdP_3

In the western garden, similar tiles have been used on the ground; however, the design is slightly different. All together I found seven identical tiles with sinistral snails.

CdP_4

CdP_5

When asking about the origin of these tiles, I was told they have been made end 18th/beginning 19th century by an anonymous ceramist in Triana, a suburb of Sevilla.
The last series was clearly inspired by the blue and white pottery for which Delft is renown. The first tile, which is polychromatic, might have been inspired by Talavera de la Reina pottery, which was introduced during the first half of the 18th century in Sevilla [2].

Note:
[1] http://www.fundacionmedinaceli.org/casaducal/index.aspx.
[2] Data derived from texts accompanying exhibition of ceramics industry in Sevilla, at Alcazar, Sevilla (26.v.2014).

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