May 20, 2008
May 20, 2008
May 20, 2008

Pharmacy Jar (Albarello)

Pharmacy Jar (Albarello)

c. 1450

Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)

Overall: 34.3 x 15.9 cm (13 1/2 x 6 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1954.258



The albarello—a name of uncertain origin—was a pharmacist's jar used to hold dried herbs or medicinal compounds. It was usually closed by means of a piece of parchment or cloth stretched over its mouth and tied with a string. Its characteristic concave sides offered an easy grip to facilitate handling. This large albarello is one of the best of a small number of exquisitely decorated blue-and-white pieces produced in Tuscany in the mid-1400s.

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