Pharmacy Jar (Albarello)

Pharmacy Jar (Albarello)

c. 1475-80

Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)

Overall: 30.5 cm (12 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1941.550

Did you know?

At various points in history, medicinal peony compounds have been prescribed for dizziness, weakness, hysteria, jaundice, and kidney stones.


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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