Heavily inspired the the Renaissance artist Bernard Palissy (French, a. 1510 - 1590), the ceramicist Manuel Mafra (Portuguese, 1831 - 1905) created virtuosic sculptural works of art that debuted at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867. Mafra was soon granted the Royal investiture of Portugal and was patronized by collectors around the world. This work glazed with copper and manganese, shows various large and small creatures covering the surface of the ewer. The work is stamped "M. Mafras, Caldas, Portugal) on the underside of the lid.