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Drug jar

  • Place of origin:

    The Marches (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1530-1550 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted and scratched decoration

  • Museum number:

    1117-1901

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, The Foyle Foundation Gallery, case 9

Jars of this type were used for storing drugs. It would have been part of a set of similar jars for different drugs, belonging to a pharmacy. The constriction just underneath the rim was used to close the pot off with a piece of parchment or paper and a string.
The Latin inscription on the painted label refers to the original contents of the jar: 'EMPIAO D CRVSTAPANIS', or bread-crust plaster, a poultice made from bread crusts, red coral, mastic, oil of quinces and other ingredients.
Pharmacies in the Renaissance period were usually run by a monastic orders as part of their hospitals, or somtimes by one of the leading local families.

Physical description

Drugjar of tin-glazed earthenware, painted in blue with a scroll, inscribed: 'EMPIAO D CRVSTAPANIS'. Above this, a bird in a compartiment, flanked by floral ornament. On the shoulder and above the base patterns are scratched through the blue to the white.

Place of Origin

The Marches (possibly, made)

Date

1530-1550 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted and scratched decoration

Marks and inscriptions

'EMPIAO D CRVSTAPANIS
bread-crust plaster
The Latin inscription on the painted label refers to the original contents of the jar, bread-crust plaster, a poultice made from bread crusts, red coral, mastic, oil of quinces and other ingredients.

Distinct scratchmarks on the bottom.
It is not quite known what these marks indicate, but they were possibly an indication of content measurement.

Dimensions

Height: 17.4 cm, Diameter: 15 cm, Weight: 0.8 kg

Object history note

Purchased from the Wimbledon Park House Sale on 25th October 1901

Historical context note

The Latin inscription on the painted label refers to the original contents of the jar, bread-crust plaster, a poultice made from bread crusts, red coral, mastic, oil of quinces and other ingredients.
The jar would have been part of a set of similar jars for different drugs, belonging to a pharmacy. A few more jars from the same set have survived. The constriction just underneath the rim was used to close the pot off with a piece of parchment or paper and a string.

Descriptive line

Drugjar, tin-glazed earthenware, painted in colours and with inscription: 'IERALOCODION'

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

R. Drey, Apothecary Jars: pharmaceutical pottery and porcelain in Europe and the East 1150-1850, London, 1978, p. 197
Chompret, D.J., Répertoire de la majolique Italienne, Milan 1986 (2nd edition), fig. 546, p. 70

Subjects depicted

Flower

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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