Storage vessels were among the most frequently produced maiolica wares in late medieval and Renaissance Italy. Made in fairly standard shapes, they were designed to fit with dozens of others on a shelf, often in a pharmacy or shop. Their handles therefore tend to fit within the vessel’s profile, and the cylindrical albarello type is generally narrower at the middle than at the top or bottom, making it easy to grip. Other common features include inscriptions indicating contents and flanged lips to help secure cloth or paper seals. The decoration, usually more elaborate on one side than the other, can sometimes link pieces to a known dispensary or specific workshop or artist.
[ Charles Mannheim , Paris, until 1901; sold as part of the Mannheim collection to Morgan ]; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (1901–d. 1913; probably on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1901–12, brought to New York 1912; to his son, J. P. Morgan); by descent, J. P. Morgan Jr. , New York (1913–16; on loan to MMA 1914–16 [PM3084]; sold to Duveen as part of the Morgan collection); [ Duveen Brothers , New York, 1916; sold to Schiff ] ; Mortimer L. Schiff , New York (1916–d. 1931; on loan to MMA 1917–19; to his son, John); by descent, John M. Schiff , New York (1931–46; on loan to MMA 1937–46, on view 1937–41; his sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, May 4, 1946, no. 19; sold for $1,600 plus $80 commission to French and Company); [ French and Co., New York , as agent for MMA, 1946 ]