Drug Jar

This straight walled drug container has a slightly flared lip and a whitish blue glaze. Historian George Urdang attributes this jar to the court pharmacy of Dresden. Within a blue rococo cartouche are the initials AR and the date 1734. The initials AR refer to Augustus Rex, King Augustus the Strong of Poland. Below and to the left is the coat of arms of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1797), The mounted Lithuanian Vytis and the Polish Eagle are depicted. To the right is the coat of arms and the crossed swords of the Kingdom of Poland. The bottom of the container is also marked.
It is interesting to note that the glaze of the blue cartouche has been fired. However, the other markings—the AR, the crown, the two coats of arms and the marking on the bottom of the container—appear to have been applied afterward by the cold painting technique. The date 1734 has been applied to the container below the initials “AR,” Augustus the Strong, King of Poland who died in 1733. A syrup jar from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, dated 1718 with the arms of the Electorate of Saxony and the Kingdom of Poland is depicted in Apothecary Jars: Pharmaceutical Pottery and Porcelain in Europe and the East 1150-1850 by Rudolf Drey.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 21.1 cm x 14 cm; 8 5/16 in x 5 1/2 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 639
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
Urdang, George and Ferdinand William Nitardy. The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy: A Catalogue of the Collection
Drey, Rudolf E.A.. Apothecary Jars

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