Unguentum Dialtea

This blue monochrome albarello-shaped drug jar has a stylized cobalt-blue floral motif with a cross-hatch band just above the shoulder and foot. An escroll in the center of the container is inscribed in gothic script, u dialtea. This jar would have contained Unguentum Dialthaea, an ointment made from the gummy extract of the roots of the Althaea officinalis, also known as the Marshmallow. The ointment was used to soothe irritated throats and to relieve coughs.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1500
Date made
1500 - 1550
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 17.3 cm x 12.5 cm; 6 13/16 in x 4 29/32 in
place made
Italia: Emilia-Romagna, Faenza
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 419
catalog number
Health & Medicine
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
Drey, Rudolf E.A.. Apothecary Jars
Urdang, George and Ferdinand William Nitardy. The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy: A Catalogue of the Collection

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.