An exceptionally rare pair of blue and white decorated majolica drug jars from Catalonia, manufactured during the first quarter of the 18th century. Each jar is fired in a fine off-white tin oxide slip, and is decorated profusely in blue and white polychrome with scenes of dogs and men in a mountainous landscape.
Condition is fine antique. There is an excellent old professional repair to the collar and rim of the jar on the left in the photographs, probably dating to the mid-20th century. Both jars have scattered areas of wear and scattered losses of surface glaze which are commensurate with age and usage.
The late 17th and early 18th century pharmaceutical wares from Catalonia recall the 16th century Italian decorated wares from Montelupo. The scenes are painted in vivid shades of blue indigo with men and dogs in a mountainous landscape. This pair is exceptionally rare, and would have most likely come from a large group of similarly decorated jars. When placed side by side in a row on a pharmacy shelf, the effect would have been one of a continuously moving landscape.
A superb and very rare pair of jars.
For related examples see: Rudolf E.A. Drey, Apothecary Jars-Pharmaceutical Pottery & Porcelain in Europe and the East 1150-1800, Faber & Faber, London, 1978, pg. 149., illustrated Plates 76A,76B.
Also: W. B. Honey, European Ceramic Art from the end of the Middle Ages to about 1815, Faber & Faber Ltd, London, 1952, Vol I.,Pg. 120.
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