"Never try to catch two frogs with one hand."
--- Chinese Proverb
If you're trying to catch two majolica frogs with one hand, you may well have an easier time of it then the real thing as they are so plentiful. After my visit to the NYC Pier Show this weekend, where I saw what I think is the largest majolica frog in existence, I got to thinking about frogs. In fact, I can't think of a single animal that appears more frequently in majolica than the frog. Including the hundreds of Palissy pieces that feature them (and are too many in number to feature here), frogs are everywhere in majolica.
Just about every manufacturer made something with frogs! Minton, Jones, Copeland, the Etruscan Works-- they all made pieces with them. So many exist that it seems fruitless to try and illustrate them all, so I'll do my best and just post a few of the more commonly seen examples.
Minton made four of the most desirable frog pieces found in majolica: this box of a frog sitting on a lily pad, this pitcher of a frog riding a fish, a sweetmeat compote and this frog creamer.
Both George Jones and Copeland made charming frog vases.
Jones also added frogs to the pitcher that forms part of their chestnut series.
Hugo Lonitz made a terrific terrine with a frog finial and cute little sweetmeat server.
Delphin Massier seems to have specialized in frogs. In addition to the giant figural cane stand I saw this weekend, Massier made this smaller version as a vase, as well as other frogs for various uses. They even made a frog teapot!
Other French companies also made frogs,
Then there is the large collection of smoking themed frogs...
Of course there are any number of frogs from both Continental and British manufacturers,--including one of my favorites, the frog on melon pitcher--that are otherwise hard to categorize.
So, if frogs tickle your fancy, there's a world of majolica frogs waiting for you... but I would use both hands!