Mancerina, Alcora

№ inv.: CE1/01222

This ceramic mancerina (a plate for serving chocolate) has a white tin glaze and is in the shape of a shell. The dip of the plate, which holds the jícara (a mug for drinking hot chocolate), preventing it from overturning, depicts a fretwork decoration. It is decorated with brown, yellow and mainly blue stripes. There are stripes with floral and of Bérain series motifs. It belongs to the same series as the plate on display (first period). This piece is signed by Miguel Soliva (+1755), the principal painter of the first period.

Mancerinas and jícaras are amongst the most popular and appreciated pieces of Alcora. They can be round, shaped like a dove, a tendril, or, as in this case, a shell or scallop. A set of mancerina and jícara appears to have been first designed in silver in the 17th century in Mexico or Peru. The model then went on to be manufactured in ceramics, with Alcora being the first centre in Spain and possibly the whole of Europe to produce it.

The jícara was modelled on the example of Chinese teacups: delicate, narrow and without a handle. Teacups were brought to the Viceroyalty of Peru by the Manila galleon (also known as Nao de China) that brought goods such as silk, porcelain, ivory and spices from Asia to the Americas. Despite the Chinese origin of the piece, the term jícara comes from the Aztec word xicalli, which is a small hemispherical vessel made of polychrome ceramics or a dried enamelled gourd used for drinking hot chocolate, among other beverages.

On display in the Sala de la Lumbrera (Lantern Room), second floor.


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