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Pharmacist Jar (Alborello)

datation
14th century AD
provenance
Damascus- Al-Salhiyyeh
area
period
materials
themes

It is a pharmacist jar, with a wide and vertical cylindrical body on a narrower cylindrical base and featuring a short neck with rounded rim.

The jar is ornamented with floral and geometrical decorations, executed in blue and black colors on white under a green glaze. Many of these kinds of jars were made in Damascus and exported to the Italian republics during the Middle Ages, especially the 8th century. 

They would have been filled with precious medical herbs and kept on special shelves in hospitals and drugstores. Purchasing orders for these medieval pharmaceutical ceramics, many of which were made in Damascus, have been found in the archives of commercial records in Italy (see: Venecia Porter, "Islamic Tiles", London, 1995, P. 93).

see also