Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pharmacy jar with the Apollo Belvedere and King David

ca. 1545–50
Italian, perhaps Castelli
Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware)
Overall (confirmed): 10 1/4 × 8 5/8 in. (26 × 21.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1946
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 521
The decoration on this jar combines pagan antiquity and biblical history—a common pairing in Renaissance Italy. In one roundel, the Old Testament prophet King David appears playing his harp. On the other side is a lively rendering of the Apollo Belvedere, the ancient marble statue discovered in Rome in 1489. The label—"Conserve with borage"—appears on both sides.
Inscription: In medallion behind King David: DAVITTE / POFEA [trans.: Davitte Pofeta]; below medallions on each side, on continuous banderole: COSERVA.BORAGINATA [trans.: Conserve with borage]; on each side, on same banderole: .E.P.F.
Sigismond Bardac , Paris (by 1913) ; Mortimer L. Schiff , New York (before 1927–46; his sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, May 4, 1946, no. 38; sold through French & Co. to MMA)
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