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Bowl

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made in Italy

Bowl
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This maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware) bowl was made as a souvenir for pilgrims visiting the shrine of Loreto, near Ancona in Italy. It dates from the 18th or 19th century.

The polychrome painted scene depicts the Virgin Mary and Child. The abbreviated inscription inside the bowl translates as, 'with dust and water from the Holy House'. This implies the ceramic body includes some dust and possibly some water from the Holy House (Mary's house at Nazareth).

The Holy House at Nazareth was allegedly transported to Loreto by angels after 1295. Other relics at the Loreto shrine included a venerated statue of the Virgin and a bowl said to have been used by Mary.

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