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Pharmacy bottle: C.5-1952

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 6 (Upper Marlay): case 4, shelf C


Maker: Unidentified Castel Durante potter (Probably)
Maker: Unidentified Pesaro potter (Perhaps)




Maiolica pharmacy bottle, painted in blue, green, yellow, and orange, with a scroll, on the front, inscribed `C DE FENOCHI'.

Pale buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall, the interior appearing cream. Painted in blue, yellowish-green, yellow, and orange. The bottle has a bulbous body with a cylindrical neck which expands towards the rim, and stands on a very low foot.
On the front is a scroll inscribed in blue Roman capitals `C DE FENOCHI'. The ends of the scroll are painted blue, yellow, and orange. The rest of the surface is decorated with softly serrated leaves on branching stems. Round the foot, between pairs of narrow horizontal blue bands, is a wavy stem with leaves in the spaces above and below it. A blue band encircles the rim.


History note: Unknown

Legal notes

Given by E.S. Peck

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 15.4 cm
Height: 22.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Castel Durante ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy
  • Pesaro ⪼ The Marches ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


16th Century, second half#
Circa 1550 CE - 1600 CE


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: This colourful spouted pharmacy bottle was designed originally to contain a syrup made with fennel, as indicated by its label, ‘C[onfectio]. DE. FENOCHI’, meaning ‘decoction of fennel’, obtained by heating or boiling the plant to extract its essence. Fennel was often used as a diuretic for weight loss, and in a variety of remedies. Probably Castel Durante, Le Marche, Italy, c.1550–1600.

Probably made in Castel Durante, or in Pesaro.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, yellowish-green, yellow, and orange)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Tin-glazing : Pale buff earthenware, tin-glazed overall, the interior appearing cream. Painted in blue, yellowish-green, yellow, and orange.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: C DE FENOCHI
  • Location: On label round body
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.5-1952
Primary reference Number: 79302
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 25 November 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

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) "Pharmacy bottle" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-23 06:46:45

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{{cite web|url= |title=Pharmacy bottle |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-23 06:46:45|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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