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Drug jar

Drug jar

  • Place of origin:

    Siena (town) (made)

  • Date:

    1501 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in enamels

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case K1, shelf 3

Physical description

Drug-jar (albarello) of earthenware, painted in blue, bluish black, orange, yellow and copper green. Below the shoulder is a cartouche inscribed in Gothic characters with the name of the contents: 'benalbo' (white behen or bladder campion). Between the ends of the cartouche are three rosettes; below it the surface is covered with a symmetrical design comprising two grotesque masks and two tablets with the date 1501 above a palmette flanked by cornucopias. Round the shoulder and base, bands of chequers.

Place of Origin

Siena (town) (made)


1501 (dated)



Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in enamels

Marks and inscriptions

White behen or bladder campion
Painted in Gothic characters in a cartouche below the rim


Height: 27.3 cm, Diameter: 15.2 cm

Descriptive line

Drug jar with 'Benalbo' painted in cartouche below rim, made in Siena, dated 1501, tin-glazed earthenware

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

Drey, R. Apothecary Jars: pharmaceutical pottery and porcelain in Europe and the East 1150-1850. London, 1978. Fig.9C, 37 p.

Labels and date

Drug jar
Made in Siena dated 1501
Inscription: 'Benalbo' (White behen, plant used for pharmaceutical recipies)
Tin-glazed earthenware

1569-1855 [16/07/2008]

Production Note

See Rackham , Bernard, italian Maiolica, plate 34 C, London 1952

R Drey, 1978
Siena, dated 1501.


Earthenware; Tin glaze


Painted; Glazed

Subjects depicted

Masks; Rosettes


Ceramics; Maiolica


Ceramics Collection

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