Storage jar used for Fumitory Water, Italy, 1640-1660

Made:
1640-1660 in Deruta
maker:
Unknown

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Syrup jug, Italian, fine example from Deruta, mid c17, polychrome maiolica, used for earth smoke water

The inscription painted on the side of this earthenware jar translates from Latin as “Smoke Water”. In this preparation, the dried herb, fumitory, is infused with water and drunk to cleanse the humours, which were thought to cause blockages in the body if unbalanced. Such blockages were believed to trigger a range of health problems, including leprosy, fevers, itches and skin conditions. When taken with the expensive and elaborate preparation theriac, the water was considered to be useful against plague.

The handle of the jar is a snake entwined around a rod, a symbol traditionally associated with Asklepios, the Greek and Roman god of healing and medicine.

Details

Category:
Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
A17900
type:
storage jar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • storage vessel
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.