Small albarello drug jar for spermaceti, Barcelona, Spain, 1801-1830

Made:
1801-1830 in Barcelona and Italy
maker:
Unknown

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

Small albarello, tin glazed earthenware, used for spermaceti cream, Barcelona, Spain, 1801-1830

Spermaceti is the oily substance from the head of a sperm whale. It was once used in large amounts as the base in medicinal ointments as well as cosmetics and moisturisers. A full-grown sperm whale may yield one tonne of spermaceti. However, because it is difficult to obtain the oil is very expensive. The jar used to store the oil is thought to be from Italy.

Details

Category:
Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
A42602
type:
drug jar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle