Mancerina , an original and ancient ceramic piece that is in the Cuban Historical Environment Museum , Santiago de Cuba province .


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Feature
    • 1 18th century
    • 2 XIX century
  • 3 Utility
  • 4 Sources
  • 5 Related link


This original element of the production of the Royal Factory of Earthenware and Porcelain of l’Alcora owes its name to the Marquis of Mancera, viceroy of Peru between 1639 and 1648 , a refined and elegant man, used to organize receptions in which he offered all kinds of Selected delicacies among which stood out the unmade chocolate, of Mexican origin, served in cups without handles (jícaras). According to tradition, in one of the celebrations the contents of a jícara were spilled on the dress of a lady and the marquis, alarmed by the setback, devised a system to avoid this type of incident. Based on the egg cups of medieval origin, he added to a plate an openwork clamp to hold the jícara.The original solution was baptized as a mancerina in honor of its predecessor.


At first the macerinas were made of silver; But when chocolate consumption became widespread in Europe at the beginning of the 18th century , the Conde de Aranda de l’Alcora Royal Factory would be the first to manufacture them in earthenware, and later other centers such as Ribesalbes, Talavera, Teruel or Manises also incorporated them into his formal repertoire, based on the influence that l’Alcora projected on his productions from 1750 – 1770 .
The shape of the cancer has remained unchanged since its introduction in l’Alcora (plate with a central openwork well), its profile evolves and diversifies with the passing of the years.

Century XVIII

The first way to appear is the shell or venera; It survives throughout the eighteenth century and will support a multitude of decorative styles from this era. The base enamel is almost always staniferous white, but there is no lack of examples with a yellow or blue coating. At the same time, the circular plate model appears, less abundant and that seems to be extinct before that. Evolved versions of the latter type are gallon-edged mancerinas (of which the Museo de l’Alcora has one of the few known specimens) or scalloped edge. Both models appear related to the ornamental series of the second half of the 18th century. Belonging to the prevailing rococo taste are the macerinas in the shape of a fig leaf, with a trimmed silhouette. They appear from 1750, shortly before the dove-shaped ones (in their realistic and double-headed versions), ascribed to the popular collection of zoomorphic pieces known as I’Alcora’s fauna. Also the white tableware in pipe earth (high-quality pasta introduced in l’Alcora by the French master François Martin in 1774 ) included among its formal cast cut-out, curvilinear or gently raised profiles, imitating vegetable or shell shapes. All these forms were in use, with greater or lesser fortune, from the moment they appeared until the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th century .

XIX century

The purely neoclassical decorative styles that emerged towards the turn of the century (the German flowers and the golden reflection) do not incorporate mancerinas into their typological repertoire (except in exceptional cases): small circular plates without wells and monoasada cups are now imposed , with cylindrical or curved walls. This pairing of the saucer-cup will definitely triumph, leaving the mancerina and the jícara as a singular example of the sophistication and refinement that ceramics in general, and l’Alcora earthenware in particular, achieved in the 18th century .


It was used to drink chocolate in the different meetings of the bourgeois society of the 18th and 19th centuries. Today it is a decorative object.


Ocaña Caballero Humberto. Spanish ceramics in Cuba. Oriente Publishing House. 2005


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