Pharmacy storage jar depicting St John the Baptist

1501-1600 in Italy

Buy this image as a print 

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

Left hand side - A42578, Tin glazed earthenware pharmacy jar, portrait of St. Lawrence, made in Venice, Italian 1501 -
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Tin-glazed earthenware pharmacy storage jar, portrait of St. John the Baptist, made at Venice, Italian, 1501-1600

Many Christians have long believed that the saints are able to plead with God on their behalf and that particular saints can give protection against, or help cure, specific illnesses. Painted on the earthenware jar (on the right hand side of the photograph) is the figure of St John the Baptist, who baptised Jesus. St John’s Wort is named after him as the plant is said to flower on the eve of his feast day. The plant was used to treat wounds and is now sometimes used to treat clinical depression. It is shown here with a similar jar depicting St Lawrence (A42578).

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Related people


Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
storage jar
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • storage vessel

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.