Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Are the products on your website in stock and available to ship or do they need to be special ordered from Italy?
  • All items shown on our site are in stock and available for immediate shipment.  Available quantities vary for each piece.  If you would like to order a large quantity of something you see on our website, or if you have questions about availability, please contact us at and we will be happy to assist.

What is Limited Edition? 

  • Limited editions are usually original artworks that have been specifically created by the artist with only a certain number of versions available. It often comes with an edition number on the print to establish the quantity, and the original artist's signature to show their authenticity.
  • An edition size is the bottom number in fraction. For example, 23/80 where 80 is the edition size and 23 is the 23rd print of that edition. The prints, plates, screens, or stones were destroyed so no more can be made .  The bigger the bottom number, the bigger the edition and the less each print is worth as a function of the artist's overall value. Mr. Baracco keeps his edition size small, usually under 100 which is good. Some people think lower top numbers are better but that's not really true. Number 3 of an edition of 80 is worth the same as number 53 of that same edition.
    • Artist Proofs which are done before the edition starts and are usually around five pieces. These can be worth a little more because the artist may do some tweaking here.

    What is your Shipping Policy? 

    • Every item at Mercata Imports is fragile and requires special shipping and handling so your order arrives safely.
    • We carefully inspect every piece to ensure there are no visible defects before we pack for the safe delivery of your beautiful Italian creation. 
    • All orders are processed within 1-3 business days, with the exception of orders placed on weekends and holidays. 
    • We can't ship to P.O. Boxes.
    • Please visit our Shipping Policy for more details and pricing.

    Do you ship outside the US?

    • Yes!  Please visit our Shipping Policy for details and pricing on international shipping.
    How will I know if my order has shipped?
    • You will be notified by email with shipping information and a tracking number when shipment.

    Where will my order ship from? 

    • All products are imported from Italy and shipped from New England.  

    When is my credit card charged?

    • Your credit card is charged when the order is placed.  

    What is your return policy?

    Are the Italian pottery dishwasher and/or microwave safe?

    • Our Italian pottery (maiolica) dinnerware is dishwasher safe, however due to the materials & techniques used, we don't recommend it.  Many people hand wash the pieces as a preventative measure.
    • The hand-crafted products should not be placed in a microwave or hot oven, as it can lead to cracks and breakage, and possibly compromise the longevity of the pieces.
    • Since maiolica is a porous material, some pieces are not meant to hold liquid for a long period of time.
    • For more information on how to care for your ceramics, please see our What is Maiolica & How to Care for it page.

    How can I tell if ceramics from Italy are authentic or mass reproductions?

    • Hand-crafted ceramics imported from Italy are typically more expensive and have a higher value because each piece is made by hand and takes more time.  Since items are created individually, brush strokes and slight imperfections or slight inconsistencies in colorations make each piece a unique piece of art.  Most of our artisans sign their work so you can be assured they are made by true artisans.