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Pharmacy jar: C.2B-1932

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Potter: Unidentified Pesaro potter




Maiolica spouted pharmacy jar, painted in blue, yellow, orange, and purple, with a scroll inscribed `OXIMEL SIMP x', surrounded by fan-like palmettes, dots and arrow-shaped splodges.

Pale buff earthenware. The exterior is covered with very shiny tin glaze, the interior is more thinly glazed, and the base unglazed. One side has a fault in the glaze. Painted in dark and pale blue, yellow, orange, and a little manganese-purple.
Baluster-shaped with cylindrical neck, short upright spout, and broad strap handle.
Below the handle there is a scroll inscribed `OXIMEL SIMP x' in blue gothic script. The rest of the body and the handle are decorated with `gothic' foliage. On the front of the spout there is a palmette and arrow-shaped splodges. Round the neck between yellow and blue horizontal bands of different widths, there are fan-like palmettes, dots and arrow-shaped splodges, and, round the lower part, a continuous fish-bone between yellow and blue bands of different widths.


History note: Alfred Spero, London, £160 with two other pieces.

Legal notes

Purchased with the Glaisher Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 24.2 cm
Width: 17 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Pesaro ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1932-01-07) by Spero, Alfred


15th Century, Late
Circa 1470 CE - 1500 CE


The inscription on the label, an abbreviation of Oximel simplex was a potion prepared by evaporating to a syrupy consistency, a mixture of clarified honey and vinegar; simplex indicated that the syrup was a simple, as opposed to a composite, type.

The jar was attributed to Faenza in Rackham's 1935 Catalogue of the Glaisher Collection, but has been reattributed to Pesaro on the basis of the similarity of the gothic foliage to that on sherds found there.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( dark and pale blue, yellow, orange, and a little manganese-purple)
Base Diameter 10.5 cm
Rim Diameter 9.5 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: OXIMEL SIMP x
  • Location: Below the handle
  • Method of creation: In blue gothic script
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2B-1932
Primary reference Number: 74288
Glaisher additions number: Gl. Add.38-1932
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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Pharmacy jar" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-17 21:00:05

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