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Pill-tile: C.1317-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pottery: unidentified London pottery




Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue

Buff earthenware, tin-glazed painted in blue. Heart-shaped bearing the arms of the Apothecaries' Company and motto OPIFERQVE.PER.ORBEM.DICOR', with below, an oval shield bearing the arms of the City of London. Two suspension holes at the top were pierced before firing.


History note: William Turner, Purley Chase, Atherstone; Randolph Berens, 14 Prince's Gardens, London; sold; sold Christie's, 13 December 1910, lot 86; Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 1.3 cm
Depth: ½ in
Height: 32.5 cm
Height: 12 13/16 in
Width: 27.7 cm
Width: 10 7.8 in

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


18th Century, Mid
George II
Circa 1740 CE - 1750 CE


The latin motto of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries was taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book I:521-2 where Apollo says, ‘inventum medicina meum est, opiferque per orbem dicor, et herbarum subiecta potentia nobis ei mihi’ (I am called Help-Bringer throughout the world and all the potency of herbs is given unto me).

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of cobalt

Materials used in production

bluish Tin-glaze
buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Earthenware, pierced by two suspension holes, tin-glazed bluish-white and painted in blue

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On front
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1317-1928
Primary reference Number: 71780
Old object number: 3323
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Pill-tile" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-23 06:25:23

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{{cite web|url= |title=Pill-tile |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-23 06:25:23|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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