Drug jar with leopards, Italy

Drug jar with leopards, Italy

Drug jar with leopards
Italy, probably Florence
1420-50
Tin-glazed earthenware, with decoration painted into the glaze
Museum no. 2562-1856

About 1400, Tuscan potters began to make tin-glazed wares inspired by imports from Spain. They used a thicker, whiter glaze with designs crudely applied in cobalt blue, often with outlines in manganese purple. The expensive tin was only used on visible surfaces: the interior is lead-glazed.

A row of such boldly patterned drug jars would have been an impressive feature of a hospital pharmacy.