Albarello drug jar, Sicily, 1640

Made:
1640 in Sicily
maker:
Unknown

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Albarello vase, Italian, example of a firing disaster from Deruta, 1640, showing a male turbanned arab. Black
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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

Albarello vase, example of a firing disaster, showing a turbanned Arab man, unsigned, Italy, 1640

The decoration on the albarello jar shows a bearded Moor wearing a turban. Moors were Muslims from north-west Africa who conquered Spain in the 700s. The proximity of Sicily to the north African coast probably accounts for this particular design.

Albarello vases, with their characteristic hourglass shape and multicoloured decoration, originated in Persia. This shape was developed so that many jars could be put on one shelf yet each still be safely removed by grasping it around the middle. This jar shows bubbling of the surface caused by re-firing the pottery to fix the glaze to the clay.

Details

Category:
Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
A43096
type:
drug jar
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • drug jar
credit:
Foster

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