Skip to main content

Pharmacy jar: C.2235-1928

An image of Pharmacy jar

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Massa, Donato (Probably)




Maiolica two-handled pharmacy jar, painted in blue with a coast scene on the front, and the date '1729' on the back.

Earthenware, tin-glazed on the interior and exterior; base unglazed. Painted in blue.
Ovoid with flat base, cylindrical neck, and two handles, each formed of two contiguous rolls of clay, separating into coils at the lower end on either side of a projecting circular stud. The two rolls are held together at the top and above the coils by a horizontal strip of clay and a circular stud.
The front is decorated with a coast scene with mountains, buildings beside a cliff, a sailing boat, and five figures: three fishing and two standing further inland. Below, there are three horizontal bands, a zone of mock gadrooning, and five horizontal bands. At the junction of the neck and shoulder there is a scalloped line, and on the neck, mock gadrooning between sets of three horizontal bands. On each side of the handle there are three vertical lines flanking horizontal strokes. The handles are vertically striped; the cross bands are blue and the studs are decorated with concentric circles. The back is dated `1729', with a complex figure-of-eight flourish terminating the `9', and another above.


History note: Countess Howard de Walden; Thomas Sutton, Eastbourne, from whom purchased in February 1900 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher. For information on provenance see MS Catalogue 1119 and Typed Catalogue 1119.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 51.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Naples ⪼ Campania ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, first half
Production date: dated AD 1729 : dated


The jar was attributed to Castelli by Rackham in 1935, but has since been reattributed to the Massa workshop in Naples, probably to the hand of Donato Massa, following publications by Borelli (1972) and Donatone (1972, 1974, 1980C). A pair of comparable jars 46.2 cm high, with slightly different handles, dated 1724, were sold by Sotheby's on 6 March, 2001.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colour ( in blue from cobalt)
Base Diameter 20.6 cm
Widest Part Width 36.5 cm

Materials used in production

except base Tin-glaze

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: with a complex figure-of-eight flourish terminating the `9', and another above

  • Text: 1729
  • Location: On the back
  • Type: Date

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2235-1928
Primary reference Number: 73276
Old object number: 1119
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Pharmacy jar" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-21 22:51:20

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Pharmacy jar |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-21 22:51:20|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Pharmacy jar"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Pharmacy jar</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...