Drug Jar

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Drug Jar, 1550. Maiolica earthenware jar. Place of manufacture: Castelli, Italy. The material used to make this drug jar is known in Italy as Maiolica. It is earthenware with a thick, opaque white surface called tin glaze. Maiolica was established in the northern half of Italy by the mid-15th century when the pots were often decorated with bold patterns in green and purple. As the industry developed throughout Italy, characteristic shapes emerged, amongst them drug jars like this used for display in pharmacies. The decoration on this pot shows a portrait of a bearded man in a damask robe, with an inscription reading 'nt agipriac', a contraction of the latin name of its original medicinal contents.

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