Skip to main content

Pharmacy jar: C.7-1952

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: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Potter: Unknown (Probably)




Maiolica spouted pharmacy jar, painted in blue and yellow with a label inscribed `Syo: D RIBES' on the front, with below a pharmacy badge of two doves drinking from a chalice.

Earthenware, tin-glazed on the exterior and interior. Painted in watery dark blue and a little yellow. Globular with cylindrical neck expanding slightly towards the rim, short straight spout rising from the shoulder, and strap handle.
On the front is a rectangular label inscribed `Syo: D RIBES' with below, a pharmacy badge of two doves drinking from a chalice. The space surrounding them and above the label is decorated with delicate stems of foliage enclosed by an approximately circular border of similar foliage. Wavy ribbons extend on each side. The spout is decorated with horizontal and vertical lines with lobes at the bottom. Below the handle is the date `1673' between groups of short horizontal lines.

Legal notes

Given by E.S. Peck

Measurements and weight

Height: 20.9 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Deruta ⪼ Umbria ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1952-07-31) by Peck, Ernest Saville


Third quarter of 17th century
Production date: dated AD 1673 : dated


Label text from the exhibition ‘Feast and Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500–1800’, on display at The Fitzwilliam Museum from 26 November 2019 until 31 August 2020: One-handled spouted pharmacy jar for the Camaldolensian convent, Arezzo This pharmacy jar’s inscription, ‘Syo: D RIBES’ (‘syrup of currants’), tells us that it was designed originally to hold blackcurrant or redcurrant syrup, believed to help with coughs or lung ailments but also used as a food flavouring and colouring. The doves drinking from the chalice on the front indicate that it was made for the pharmacy of the Camaldolensian convent near Arezzo. Its white ground with light blue glaze decoration deliberately imitates more expensive, highly fashionable blue-and-white porcelain wares imported from China. Probably Deruta, Umbria, Italy, 1673

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( watery dark blue and a little yellow)
Rim Diameter 11.2 cm
Foot Diameter 9.3 cm
Handle To Spout Width 20.5 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Earthenware, tin-glazed on the exterior and interior. Painted in watery dark blue and a little yellow.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Syo: D RIBES
  • Location: On the front
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: 1673
  • Location: Below the handle
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Date

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.7-1952
Primary reference Number: 75906
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 25 November 2020 Last processed: Monday 21 November 2022

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 (2023) "Pharmacy jar" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-05 23:56:34

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=2023-06-05 23:56:34|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>

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Pharmacy jar

Accession Number: C.40.F4-1928

Fragment of pharmacy jar

Accession Number: C.2401-1928

Fragment of pharmacy jar

Accession Number: C.2402-1928

Pharmacy jar

Accession Number: C.181-1991

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

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