Albarello drug jar for Golden Ointment, Italy, 1571-1630

Made:
1571-1630 in Faenza
maker:
Unknown

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Left hand side - A633767, Dumbell albarello, majolica, with biblical scene, used for unknown drug, Italian, perhaps
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Tin-glazed earthenware albarello, polychrome decoration, labelled "Ungty aureu", Italian, 1571-1630

On the right, the illustrated scene on the earthenware jar shows an event from the New Testament of the Bible. Titled ‘La Samartina’, it tells the story of a woman from Samaria drawing water from the well down which Joseph (the one with the famous coat) had been cast by his brothers. Jesus is shown asking for a drink. The other inscription gives the name of the jar’s contents, Ungentum Aureum (“Golden Ointment”), which was applied to the skin to stop bleeding.

The jar was bequeathed by British laryngologist Sir St Clair Thomson (1856-1943) to the Royal College of Surgeons in London before being donated to the Wellcome collections. It is shown here with a similar biblically illustrated jar (A633767).

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Details

Category:
Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
A643260
type:
drug jar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
credit:
Thomson, Sir St Clair
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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