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Albarello (Drug Jar) with Geometric Motif

Albarello (Drug Jar) with Geometric Motif

Artist: Unknown (Spanish)

Date: Late 14th or early 15th century
Medium: Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware)
11 3/8 x 5 x 5 in. (28.9 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of John Ringling, 1936
Object number: SN7040
On View: Not on view
About this Objectpair of jars (SN7039-SN7040); with seven horizontal bands of ( top to bottom) blue zig-zag lines; gold diagonal stokes; blue undulating interwoven bands; gold zig-zag lins; blue Arabic script and gold spiral panels; gold vine (?); blue and gold shields.

This group of ceramic vessels would have been used by apothecaries to store ointments and dry substances, and hence their name. Made for use rather than for mere decoration, these jars feature curved, cylindrical bodies that made for easy grasping and large mouths that facilitated pouring and refilling. The stylized floral motifs are evidence of the strong Islamic presence in Spain; similarly decorated wares were also made in northern Africa and the Near East. The shape became popular in Italy in the 15th century, though it was prevalent in Egypt as early as the 11th century.
Probably Emile Gavet, Paris (not in cat. raissonne c.f. Frothingham (1951), figs. 51-52, 61-62, 139), approximately 1870s-1880s; sold to Mr. and Mrs. William K. and Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt, Gothic Room, Marble House, Newport, Rhode Island, 1889-1982; transfered to Mrs. Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt Belmont in divorce; purchased by John Ringling, 1928; bequest to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 1936
In Collection(s)
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