UNG. EGYPTIAC

Description
This albarello–shaped drug jar has an off–white underglaze with a muted blue, yellow, and green palette. A yellow–haired putti with blue and yellow wings is sitting on a tuft of green grass. Thin bands of blue encircle the jar just above the upper shoulder and below the bottom shoulder. Text in between the lower bands reads VNG EGYPTIAC.
Based on its muted palette, pharmacy historian George Urdang believed this piece to be of 18th-century origin from the Castelli region. The bottom of the jar is marked in glaze with the initials, G.B.C. He believed the artist to be Rocco di Castelli. The jar would have contained Unguentum Egyptiacum, Latin for Egyptian ointment. Egyptian ointment was a combination of copper acetate and honey that was used as an escharotic, a caustic agent.
Location
Currently not on view
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 18.4 cm x 11 cm; 7 1/4 in x 4 11/32 in
ID Number
1991.0664.0568
catalog number
M-05780
accession number
1991.0664
collector/donor number
SAP 492
catalog number
1991.0664.0568
Credit Line
Gift of American Pharmaceutical Association and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
subject
Pharmacy
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Art
Health & Medicine
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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