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Vase

Vase

  • Place of origin:

    Castel Durante (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1541 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Di Gubbio, Mariotto (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware

  • Credit Line:

    Alfred Williams Hearn Bequest

  • Museum number:

    C.72-1931

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 39, shelf 3

The dissemination, during the Middle Ages,of pharmacopoeias and antidotaria, listing the ingredients, preparation and medicinal properties of hundreds of natural rememdies, brought about an increasing demand for appropriate storage vessels. Pharmacies were, subsequently, a major market for maiolica. The pharmacies and dispensaries of monastic orders, hospitals and noble families required large numbers of jars to store their various herbs, roots, syrups, pills, oinments and sweetmeats. These were sometimes marked with coats of arms or other heraldic devices. The production of drug jars inscribed with their contents began in the middle of the fifteenth century, although, non-inscribed vessels continued to be used enabling their contents to be changed as required.

Albarelli(drug jars) were produced at Castel Durante from the first half of the sixteenth century and decorative features include military trophies and scroll work with foliate motifs around the shoulder and base of the vessel. Some jars, such as this, are marked with a patriachal or papal cross interlaced with the letter 'S', probably the emblem of the Order of the Celestines, or of the Monastery of Santo Spirito de Sulmona, which belonged to the Order. They also bear the date 1541 and the inscription 'mariotto da gubbio', thought to be the name of a potter originating from Gubbio but working at Castel Durante.

Physical description

Albarello (drug jar). On the front is a wreath of fruit and leaves tied with fluttering ribbons, forming a panel traversed by a wide band inscribed with the name of the contents: PILLe D' REOBARDO ("rhubarb pills"); above this band is a monastic pharmacy mark (s surmounted by a patriachal cross) in a compartment in the middle of a scroll bearing the signature mariotto da. gubio, fecit; below, a globe flanked by quivers, with ribbons scratched through a blue ground.

Place of Origin

Castel Durante (possibly, made)

Date

1541 (made)

Artist/maker

Di Gubbio, Mariotto (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware

Marks and inscriptions

'PILL e D' REOBARDBARO'
Rhubarb pills

Dimensions

Height: 13.5 cm, Diameter: 10.7 cm

Object history note

Historical significance: Albarelli(drug jars) were produced at Castel Durante from the first half of the sixteenth century and decorative features include military trophies and scroll work with foliate motifs around the shoulder and base of the vessel. Some jars, such as this, are marked with a patriachal or papal cross interlaced with the letter 'S', probably the emblem of the Order of the Celestines, or of the Monastery of Santo Spirito de Sulmona, which belonged to the Order. They also bear the date 1541 and the inscription 'mariotto da gubbio', thought to be the name of a potter originating from Gubbio but working at Castel Durante.

Historical context note

The dissemination, during the Middle Ages,of pharmacopoeias and antidotaria, listing the ingredients, preparation and medicinal properties of hundreds of natural rememdies, brought about an increasing demand for appropriate storage vessels. Pharmacies were, subsequently, a major market for maiolica. The pharmacies and dispensaries of monastic orders, hospitals and noble families required large numbers of jars to store their various herbs, roots, syrups, pills, oinments and sweetmeats. These were sometimes marked with coats of arms or other heraldic devices. The production of drug jars inscribed with their contents began in the middle of the fifteenth century, although, non-inscribed vessels continued to be used enabling their contents to be changed as required.

Descriptive line

Albarello (drug jar), made by the workshop of Mariotto di Gubbio, possibly in Castel Durante, 1541

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

Drey, R. Apothecary Jars: pharmaceutical pottery and porcelain in Europe and the East 1150-1850. London, 1978
Rackham, B. Italian Maiolica. London: Faber & Faber, 1952
Rasmussen, J. Italian Maiolica in the Robert Lehman Collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987
Watson, Wendy M. Italian Renaissance Ceramics From the Howard I. And Janet H. Stein Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, exh.cat. Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2001

Materials

Tin-glazed earthenware

Techniques

Painted

Categories

Ceramics; Earthenware

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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