Pharmacy Jar (Albarello)

c. 1475–80

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Storage jars that lined the shelves of Renaissance pharmacies often held medicinal herbs, spices, and ointments. Their shape made them easy to grasp while the flared lip allowed apothecaries to seal off the contents with parchment or cloth secured by a string. A scroll on the back of this vessel indicates that it may have once held a peony compound.

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  • Title: Pharmacy Jar (Albarello)
  • Date Created: c. 1475–80
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 30.5 cm (12 in.)
  • Provenance: Kurt Glogowski. (Frederic A. Stern, New York).
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1941.550
  • Medium: tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)
  • Inscriptions: in ribbon scroll on back: PENIAELFINE.
  • Fun Fact: At various points in history, medicinal peony compounds have been prescribed for dizziness, weakness, hysteria, jaundice, and kidney stones.
  • Department: Decorative Art and Design
  • Culture: Italy, Florentine region, Cafaggiolo
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: Decorative Arts
  • Accession Number: 1941.550

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