Black-man-head-vase-Large BLACK MAN HEAD VASE (Medium – Large) 2

Black Man Head Vase (Medium)

$300.00|Made in Italy

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Head vases are a typical sight on Sicilian balconies and are said to trace their origins back millennia to the times when Arabs ruled the island. Part of the traditional ceramic collection, this head vase exemplifies the genius Giacomo Alessi’s work, reinterpreting local myths and styles through modern tastes, whilst maintaining traditional techniques.

The legend goes that a beautiful girl in Palermo caught the eye of a handsome Moorish occupier, who vowed to make her his. The blossoming affair between them was cut short when the Sicilian girl found out her lover had a wife and child waiting for him back in his native land. In her rage and sorrow, she beheaded the Moor and used his severed head to grow plants on her balcony. Watered by her heartbroken tears and fed by the remains of her lover, the plants grew spectacularly in the Sicilian sun – so much so that her neighbors, being envious of such abundance, began creating their own pots fashioned after Moorish heads, without ever knowing the tragic reason for her odd choice of vessel.

Handmade in accordance with local traditions, each piece is unique and individual, with slight derivations from what is shown in the images. This is part of what makes Ceramiche Alessi’s pieces so special and inimitable.

Product Dimensions

11.02 x inches





Made In



Giacomo Alessi

Giacomo Alessi has been developing and refining his craft since 1978, through a rigorous process of technical exploration, artisanal expertise and extensive research. His work process involves deep introspective investigations into the history of Sicilian craft, culture and cosmology, resulting in pieces that reinterpret local traditions, myths, forms and designs in contemporary ways. His work transcends the usual utilitarianism of ceramics to become art in its own right, whilst retaining the versatile usefulness that the craft is known for.

Giacomo Alessi is included in the book of Living Human Treasures of the UNESCO Register of Intangible Heritage for Sicily, and has exhibited in some of the most important ceramic exhibitions in Italy and around the world. His pieces have been featured in the 2006 “Myths of the Earth” exhibition at Palermo’s Salinas Museum, the 2007 57th “Taller de Italia” Michetti Prize in Pescara and the 2011 “Roman Ceramics and Lazio” exhibition in Rome. The latter placed Giacomo Alessi’s work alongside that of Italian greats such as Guttuso, Mastroianni, Greco, Cascella, Cagli and Manzu, to name but a few. Other notable exhibitions of Alessi’s craft were his creation of the coating for Whirlpool’s show cooking, his pieces in the Milan Fuorisalone and “The Ship of Fools” in the 2011 54th Venice Biennale.



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This item is eligible for return within 30 days of receipt if unused and in its original condition.

If you wish to make a return you can contact our Concierge team through our Contact Us page or emailing [email protected], and include your order number, item, and reason for return.

We will review your request and issue you a return authorization upon approval.

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