Red terra sigillata, Hungary, 1301-1700

1301-1700 in Hungary

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Left to right, Cylindrical white terra sigillata, inscribed, from Goldberg, Germany, 1501 to 1700, Cylindrical
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Cylindrical red clay terra sigillata, inscribed, possibly from Hungary, 1301-1700

Terra sigillata, or “sealed earth”, was a clay-like soil believed to have medicinal qualities which was first used on the Greek island of Lemnos in around 500 BCE. It was usually prepared into cakes which were stamped with a seal of authenticity and then dried.

The clay was crushed into a powder and taken with liquids or made into a paste and smeared on the body. Terra sigillata was believed to fight against a number of diseases including plague and was highly sought after during epidemics. An increased demand needed an increased supply and sources were found in Hungary, France, Germany, Malta, Sienna and Silesia. This example is probably from Hungary. Unfortunately, due to wear over time the stamped inscription cannot be read. It is shown here with two other examples (A656695 and A656712).


Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Object Number:
terra sigillata pharmacy (drugs) and pharmacy (drugs) and terra sigillata
  • drug
Hartwich, C.

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.