Skip to main content

Pharmacy jar: C.269-1991

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: Unknown (Perhaps)




Renaissance maiolica pharmacy jar, painted in polychrome with, on the front, a bust of a woman and, on the back, a nude infant boy holding a windmill.

Reddish buff earthenware, tin-glazed on the interior and exterior; base unglazed. Painted in bright blue, green, yellow, dark yellow, brownish-orange, and black.Waisted albarello with short neck and sloping shoulders, tapering slightly towards the projecting base.
The front is decorated with an oval panel containing a bust of a woman wearing a striped cap, in profile to left, reserved in a blue ground. On the other side is an oval panel containing a nude infant boy holding a windmill, standing in grass. Both panels are framed by yellow half-leaves and are separated by stylised scrolling foliage and yellow flowers. The shoulder and the area above the base are decorated with black scrolls on a yellow ground. `L 2/4' is incised into the base.


History note: Dr Alfred Pringsheim; Sotheby's, 7 June 1939, Catalogue of the renowned collection of Italian majolica, the property of Dr Alfred Pringsheim of Munich, lot 45; H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

H.S. Reitlinger Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 12.3 cm
Height: 20.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Castel Durante ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1950) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


16th Century
Circa 1530 CE - 1550 CE


The jar was attributed to Deruta when sold in 1939, but the bust seems more akin to belle donne on maiolica from the Marches, and the bright colouring, particularly the yellow and green, is unlike maiolica from Deruta. The girl's head is comparable to that on C.136-1933, which is surrounded by trophies of the type associated with Castel Durante.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( bright blue, green, yellow, dark yellow, brownish-orange, and black)
Rim Diameter 10.0 cm
Base Diameter 10.7 cm

Materials used in production

base unglazed Tin-glaze

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Reddish buff earthenware, tin-glazed on the interior and exterior; base unglazed. Painted in bright blue, green, yellow, dark yellow, brownish-orange, and black.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: L 2/4
  • Location: In base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.269-1991
Primary reference Number: 73914
Packing number: EURCER 318
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 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 18:40:45

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 18:40:45|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...