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German faience lobed dish painted with chinoiserie in blue and manganese, Frankfurt am Main, —Courtesy of the Victorial and Albert Museum, London
Tin-glazed earthenware made in France, Germany, Spain, and Scandinavia, similar to Faenza majolica, for which it was named. The term is also applied to glazed earthenware made in ancient Egypt, where it was used for beads, amulets, jewelry, and small animal and human figures, most notably the blue-glazed hippopotamus figures of the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000–c. 1670 BC). Faience tiles, first made in the early dynasties, were used to decorate the walls of the subterranean chambers of the pyramids. In the New Kingdom (c. 1550–c. 1070 BC), polychrome tiles with floral designs were used in houses and palaces.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on faience, visit Britannica.com.