Storage jar or albarello: 16th century
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Small cream-coloured jar with green and blue glaze and a design of leaves, lines and letters scratched through the cream surface, revealing the red clay underneath. This drug jar or alabarello, is from Beauvais in central France. It has double slip graffito decoration, which is achieved by scratching through the top coat of white slip, liquid clay coloured with metallic oxides, to expose the red slip underneath. The vessel is further embellished with green slip, foliate motifs and the inscription: "VA T'EN QUITTE", possibly meaning 'get out of here': an apt warning on a container designed to hold hazardous and/or precious ingredients. The jar would have been sealed with a cap made from parchment or pig's bladder.
1501 AD - 1600 AD