This albarello drug jar is decorated with stylized cobalt blue leaves. The top portion of the albarello, badly cracked and repaired, is decorated with orange–brown leaves. There are two medallions on each side of the container. One is the profile of a man wearing a hat. The second medallion is framed in cobalt blue and white and is inscribed MYRTUS. Myrtus is the common myrtle berry which grows in Southern Europe and North Africa. Over the centuries myrtle was used for ulcers and to strengthen the bones. Throughout Europe myrtle is incorporated into wedding bouquets.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 29 cm x 15.2 cm; 11 13/32 in x 5 31/32 in
attributed to
Italia: Tuscany
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
SAP 465
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
Margaret B. Freeman. Herbs for the Mediaeval Household
Additional Media

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