The lower shoulder of the jar bears the inscription PLIRY ARCOTICO. The jar would have contained Pleres Arconticum Electuarium, an electuary made from pearls. Electuaries are a blend of various herbs, water, honey and sugar which form a paste. This particular substance was made from pearls, red coral, musk, aloe, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and roses, and was used as a tonic and remedy for depression.
This drug jar belongs to a series of containers 1991.0664.0525 through 1991.0664.0529 which have been attributed to eighteenth century Savona. The white glazed background is decorated with blue vines and yellow flowers. The center of the jar contains a coat of arms within a yellow shield and topped by a knight’s helmet. The escutcheon has a radiant yellow star at the top, three horizontal yellow stars on a white background in the center of the shield, and a lower field of blue and yellow stripes. The initials G.C. are on the lower left side of the shield, and the initial E is placed to the lower right side of the shield.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1700
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 16.3 cm x 10.2 cm; 6 7/16 in x 4 in
place made
ID Number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 453
catalog number
European Apothecary
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Related Publication
Urdang, George and Ferdinand William Nitardy. The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy: A Catalogue of the Collection
Additional Media

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