Pharmacy storage jar for Blessed Thistle Water, Italy, 1702

Made:
1702 in Italy
maker:
Unknown
Earthen ware storage jar, polychrome, decorated with scene of St. Martin and beggar, for storing blessed thistle water,

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Earthen ware storage jar, polychrome, decorated with scene of St. Martin and beggar, for storing blessed thistle water,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Earthenware storage jar, polychrome, decorated with scene of St. Martin and beggar, for storing blessed thistle water, from Castelli or Naples, Italian, 1702

The jar was used to store Blessed Thistle Water – a preparation made from distilling thistles and herbs. The water was drunk and believed to purge thick and slimy humours from the body. Taken in large doses the water caused sweating.

The illustration on this large earthenware storage jar shows the story of St Martin (d. 397 CE) and his conversion to Christianity. When he gave a beggar his cloak he saw a vision of Christ.

Details

Category:
Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
A632017
Measurements:
without lid: 495 mm x 437 mm x 320 mm, 10.12 kg
with lid: 630 mm x 437 mm x 320 mm, 10.84 kg
type:
storage jar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • storage vessel