A rare and unusually decorated 18th century Spanish majolica drug jar manufactured in either Talavera or Puente, Castile around 1740. The jar is fired in the typical Talavera/Puente colors of cobalt blue, emerald green, antimony orange yellow, iron dark orange, and manganese purple with brown outlines, all over a creamy white glaze with a slightly pinkish hue. The decoration depicts a stylized man and a woman in a classical landscape showing an ancient aqueduct amidst foliage.
Condition is museum quality antique. There is a small area of bubbling of the glaze on the shoulder of the jar above the woman, which occurred during the firing process. There are scattered chips and losses to the glaze on the base of the jar, as well as scattered wear to the rim, which are all commensurate with age and usage.
Majolica and faience were made in Castile at Talavera de la Reina, and at neighboring Puente del Arzobispo from the early 16th century, and no factory marks were ever used. This vibrantly decorated drug jar is a superb and scarce example of the ‘green, yellow, and brown’ decorated wares produced at Talavera and Puente in the first half of the 18th century. Pottery production in Talavera and Puente was severely affected after the Battle of Talavera in July of 1809 when the city was bombarded by the French and English forces during the Peninsula Campaign of the Napoleonic War.
A similarly fired and decorated jar is in the Museo de Ceramico in Talavera. See the Exhibition Catalogue, 500 anos de ceramic de Talavera, 21 Marzo-5 Mayo 2000, Talher-Escuola de Ceramica de Muel Diputacion de Zaragoza, 200, pg. 208, plate 57(illustrated).
Also: Bernard Rackham, M.A., Catalogue of the Glaisher Collection of Pottery & Porcelain in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987., pg. 156 (Plates, A,B,C), pg., 157(Plate C).
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