Albarello drug jar for Golden Ointment, Italy, 1571-1630

1571-1630 in Faenza

Buy this image as a print 

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

Left hand side - A633767, Dumbell albarello, majolica, with biblical scene, used for unknown drug, Italian, perhaps
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Tin-glazed earthenware albarello, polychrome decoration, labelled "Ungty aureu", Italian, 1571-1630

On the right, the illustrated scene on the earthenware jar shows an event from the New Testament of the Bible. Titled ‘La Samartina’, it tells the story of a woman from Samaria drawing water from the well down which Joseph (the one with the famous coat) had been cast by his brothers. Jesus is shown asking for a drink. The other inscription gives the name of the jar’s contents, Ungentum Aureum (“Golden Ointment”), which was applied to the skin to stop bleeding.

The jar was bequeathed by British laryngologist Sir St Clair Thomson (1856-1943) to the Royal College of Surgeons in London before being donated to the Wellcome collections. It is shown here with a similar biblically illustrated jar (A633767).

Related people


Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
drug jar
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
Thomson, Sir St Clair

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.