Albarello pharmacy jar, Deruta, Italy, 1701-1900

Made:
1701-1900 in Deruta
maker:
Unattributed

Buy this image as a print 

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

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Tin-glazed earthenware albarello, polychrome decoration, showing a nurse administering an enema, possibly a copy, marked Deruta, Italian

This albarello pharmacy jar carries the label “Elle De Gentiana”, which refers to a preparation using the roots of flowers belonging to the Gentian family. These roots were used in a large number of medical preparations. The design shows a nurse administering an enema – a once very common method of introducing liquids such as medications or purgatives into the body via the rectum. Albarello jars, with their characteristic hourglass shape and multicoloured decoration, originated in Persia. The shape was developed so that many jars could be put on one shelf, to save on space, but the jars could still be removed safely by grasping them around the middle. This type of decorated pottery is known as maiolica (or majolica) and is believed to be named after the island of Majorca, where the finest pots of this type were said to be made. This example is from one of a group of potteries based in Deruta, in Umbria, Italy.

Details

Category:
Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
A643287
type:
albarello
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • drug jar
credit:
Wellcome Trust

Cite this page

Rights

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

Download catalogue entry as json

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.