What do Wellington boots and Caoba’s new espresso cups have in common? They both owe their origins to the Spanish city of Talavera de la Reina in the province of Toledo.
Mexican Talavera is a brightly decorated, tin-glazed terracotta in the style of maiolica. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, maiolica ceramics were at the height of their fashion across Europe, particularly in Italy and Spain. It was inevitable that examples would make their way to the New World and that they would in turn be recreated by local artisans and subsequently evolve into the glorious, uniquely Mexican Talavera.
Talavera is defined by its white, tin oxide base, glazed over terracotta, with distinctive bright colours and raised surface detail. The vibrant floral decorations often have an arabesque quality to them, harking back to the Hispano-Moorish traditions that first inspired them. The cups are just one example of new editions to our Mexican Talavera collection. Dishwasher safe, perfect for hot drinks and serving food from (but not oven-proof).
… And the boots? Sir Arthur Wellesley was ennobled as Viscount Wellington, the Duke of Wellington his victory against the French at the 1809 Battle of Talavera. How he came to have rubber footwear name after him is a story for a different blog.