Finding aid for the Gentili - Barnabei archive, ca. 1660 - ca. 1920

Finding aid prepared by Teresa Morales.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Gentili - Barnabei archive
Date (inclusive): circa 1660-circa 1920
Number: 880209
Creator/Collector: Barnabei, Felice, 1842-1922
Physical Description: 275.0 items
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
Abstract: Principally records relating to the production and decoration of ceramics, especially majolica, by three generations of the Gentili family, ca. 1650-ca. 1813. Included are some 19th and 20th century papers of Barnabei and his family relating to the history of potters in Castelli. The archive was formerly owned by historian Felice Barnabei.
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Language: Collection material is in Italian and English.

Biographical/Historical Note

Members of the Gentili family were, for more than three centuries, potters in Castelli, and painters of majolica ceramics, circa 1650-circa 1813.

Administrative Information


Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Gentili - Barnabei archive ca. 1660-ca. 1920, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 880209.

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 1988.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection, formerly owned by the historian Felice Barnabei, consists principally of records relating to the production and decoration of ceramics, especially majolica, by three generations of the Gentili family --Bernardino II (d. 1683); Bernardino's son Carmine (1678-1763); and Carmine's sons, Giacomo II (1717-1765) and Ber[n]ardino III (1727-1813). Included are design drawings, pounced drawings, and prints and pounced prints of subjects for the decoration of ceramics. The archive also contains reports and agreements relating to the manufacture of pottery in the town of Castelli (Teramo), with lists of pieces made and objects sold.
Some Gentili family records, as well as Barnabei papers from the early 20th century, and Barnabei family papers from the late 19th century, relate to the traditions and history of the potters of Castelli.
Each item in the archive is numbered. One file holds typed transcriptions of some documents (21 pp.).
Note: the inventory, as translated by Catherine Hess (curator, J. Paul Getty Museum), has been used in processing this collection.

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Topics

Majolica--17th century--Italy--Castelli
Majolica--18th century--Italy--Castelli
Pottery, Italian

Genres and Forms of Material

Design drawings


Barnabei, Felice, 1842-1922
Gentili, Berardino, 1727-1813
Gentili, Bernardino, d.1683
Gentili, Carmine, 1678-1763
Gentili, Giacomo, 1717-1763

Container List

Box 1, Folder 1-16

Documents, drawings and cartoons, 1578-1900

Box 1, Folder 1

Documents regarding glazes, ceramists meeting minutes, kilns, and maiolica production, 1862, undated

Physical Description: 7.0 items
Box 1, Folder 2

Pricked cartoon, print and sketches, undated

Physical Description: 3.0 items
Box 1, Folder 3

Pricked cartoons on letters, letter fragments and small notebooks, 1676-1763

Physical Description: 18.0 items
Box 1, Folder 4

Assorted documents, letters and lists, 1708-1816

Physical Description: 14.0 items
Box 1, Folder 5

Assorted documents, letters, pricked cartoon on letter, lists and fragments of same, 1634-1793

Physical Description: 20.0 items
Box 1, Folder 6

Letters and lists regarding various supplies, expenses and mortgages, some with pricked cartoons, 1650-1801

Physical Description: 30.0 items
Box 1, Folder 7

Letters and lists regarding orders, expenses, matrimonial information and duties, some with pricked cartoons, 1666-1859

Physical Description: 21.0 items
Box 1, Folder 8

Letters, lists and printed pages regarding health, education, ceramics and religious matters, some with pricked cartoons, 1578-1764 (or 1799?)

Physical Description: 24.0 items
Box 1, Folder 9

Pen and ink sketches/drawings of putti, mythological and religious characters, some with pricked cartoons, undated

Physical Description: 24.0 items
Box 1, Folder 10

Pricked drawings and cartoons, sketches of animals, putti, mythological and religious characters, undated

Physical Description: 9.0 items
Box 1, Folder 11

Pricked cartoons, ink drawings and washes of figures, mythological characters, shields and partial letters, 1688, 1735

Physical Description: 15.0 items
Box 1, Folder 12

Pricked cartoons (one on letter) and prints of figures, animals, mythological & religious characters, 1629, 1711, 1788

Physical Description: 17.0 items
Box 1, Folder 13

Pricked prints and cartoon of figures, animals, allegorical and religion scenes, 1598-1649

Physical Description: 16.0 items
Box 1, Folder 14

Pricked cartoons and drawing of putti, mythological and religious characters, figures and animals, 1872, undated

Physical Description: 6.0 items
Box 1, Folder 15

Drawings (2 painted) and pricked cartoons of putti, mythological and religious characters, urns and framing motifs, figures and animals, 1869, 1874, 1898-1900

Physical Description: 19.0 items
Box 1, Folder 16

Typed transcriptions of some of the documents in the archive, scattered numbers 31-137, undated

Physical Description: 21.0 pp.
Box 2, Folder 1-2

Oversized material, 1715, undated

Box 2, Folder 1

Document on vellum, pricked cartoons, drawings of mythological and religious characters, undated

Physical Description: 14.0 items
Box 2, Folder 2

Sketchbook of rag paper with ink and pencil drawings, 1715

Physical Description: 10.0 items