Search Results:

Viewing Record 1 of 11 >>
View : Light Box | List View | Image List | Detailed

Date Made:ca. 1560-1570
Type:Container; Medical
Materials:Earthenware; polychrome pigments with tin glaze (majolica)
Place Made:Europe; Italy; Castel Durante
Measurements:Overall: 13 1/2 in x 7 in; 34.3 cm x 17.8 cm
Narrative Inscription:  lwr. centered beneath portrait (blue on white): ZUCCARUM VIOLARUM
Accession Number:  MH 2002.3.3
Credit Line:Joseph J. Hammer Collection, Gift of Roy A. Hammer
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Ceramic decorated with numerous well painted panels in green, yellow, ochre and grey on a blue ground containing a classical bust surrounded by griffins, a lion, trophies, foliage and a label with the name of the drug painted in a fictive "label" around the central body of the vase (ZUCCARUM VIOLARUM). This compound is a sugary mixture made from violets [or red roses] recommended by Giorgio Melichio (Avvertimenti nelle composizioni de' Medicamenti per uso della Spetieria, ... Venice, 1660, p. 170 ) because "it quenches thirst and the inflammation due to cholara, and lubricates the stomach".) Reference from Grazia Biscontini Ugolini (ed.), I Vasi da farmacia nella collezione Bayer; Pharmacy Jars in the Bayer Collection, Pisa, 1997, pp. 84-85. (W. Watson, 2.23.2012)

Label Text:
Decorated with an enwreathed classical bust bordered by griffins, trophies, a cherub’s head, and other motifs, this albarello carries the inscription “zuccarum violarum.” The vessel was designed to store and preserve Zucchero Violato, a sweet compound made from violets and used for a variety of ailments. This cure-all was administered to aid the lungs, cure headaches, sleeplessness, and to balance the humors as well as flavoring drinks and as an ingredient in cooking.

pottery; containers; medicine

Link to share this object record:

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email

4 Related Media Items

Viewing Record 1 of 11 >>