In commemoration of the release of the new film The Hobbit we thought we'd do a post featuring the denizen form of main antagonist, Smaug, a winged dragon.
Dragons are an ancient theme in pottery, going back to the earliest vessels created by man. Sometimes revered, sometimes feared, dragons can be found everywhere in human culture. The history of majolica is no exception. The dragon as majolica iconography has taken on both utilitarian and decorative purpose but always adds a fantastical element to any design.
The largest and most famous dragon in majolica appeared at the top of the Minton St. George Fountain created for the 1862 London Exhibition, but there are lesser dragons as well, many within the budget of the dragon connoisseur in you.