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Delft drug jars

July 20, 2011 , ,

Three apothecary jars with Absinthe cartouches from 1720

These are delft drug jars from the 17th century.

The two bigger jars in the background are ovoid (egg-shaped) and were manufactured in Lambeth, London around 1720. The jar on the left has a cartouche with the inscription “C:ABS:ROM:” and the jar on the right has a cartouche with the inscription “C:ABSINTH:R:”. This means both jars were used to store boiled Roman absinthe (artemisia pontica).

The little jar in the middle is an albarello and comes from the Netherlands. It is signed with the mark of Jan Pennis, the owner of De Porceleyne Schotel (The Porcelain Dish) manufacture that existed from 1701 until 1764. Its inscription in the cartouche says “E ABSYNTHI” which means absinthe extract.

The two Londoner delft jars feature each a pair of cupids, who look very much like fat, bald and naked guys with tiny wings, rather than small angel kids. Nontheless, those sumo-cupids are supposed to be Panacea and Hygieia, the two daughters of Asclepius, the god of medicine.

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