Tin-glazed earthenware albarello, polychrome decoration, labelled "GRO. D. TASSO," badger fat, possibly from Castelli, Italy, 1585
Animal fats were used as a common base for a number of ointments. Each animal was credited with special properties. The jar on the right is labelled Grasso di Tasso, Latin for “Badger Fat”. It was believed to have soothing and pain relieving qualities and to mend broken bones and muscles or reduce fevers and inflammation. The symbol painted above the date, 1585, is probably a mark of a monastery. It is shown here with a drug jar for horse fat (A42493).