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Pill-tile: C.1318-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Pottery: unidentified London pottery (Probably)
Pottery: Limekiln Lane Pottery (Possibly)




Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue with the arms and motto of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries

Buff earthenware with two suspension holes pierced at the top, tin-glazed, and painted in blue. Rectangular with cut corners, and two suspension holes pierced at top centre. Decorated overall with the arms of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and the motto 'OPIFER:QUE:PER:ORBEM:DICOR'


History note: Messrs Law, Foulsham and Cole, South Audley Street, London from whom purchased in December 1905 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 1.5 cm
Depth: 5/8 in
Height: 28 cm
Height: 11 in
Width: 23 cm
Width: 9 1/16 in

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England
  • Bristol ⪼ Somerset ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, Early#
William III (1750-1702)
Circa 1700 CE - 1705 CE


Probably made in London, but also possibly at Bristol, Limekiln Lane.

The latin motto is 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

buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Buff earthenware, pierced by two holes, tin-glazed, and painted in blue

Inscription or legends present

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

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1318-1928
Primary reference Number: 71781
Old object number: 3327
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 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: 2024-05-18 01:07:16

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{{cite web|url= |title=Pill-tile |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-18 01:07:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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