Pharmacy jar, Italian, 1530-1540.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Albarello, North Italian, probably from Faenza or Venice, labelled U Comitise ('The Countes's Ointment'). This ointment was devised by Giulielmo Varignana, a Bolognese physician of the 14th century, purportedly for the Contesa di Vadra, and features among its ingredients acorns, chestnuts, oak galls and the leg-bone of an ox. It was supposed to prevent miscarriages, to which the countes was prone. An albarello is a cylindrical apothecary's jar.