Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Apothecary jar (orciuolo)

Artist:
perhaps workshop of Giunta di Tugio (Italian (Florence), active ca. 1430–1466)
Date:
probably 1431
Medium:
Maiolica (tin-glazed earthenware)
Dimensions:
H. 12 3/8 in. (31.5 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Pottery
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1061
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 950
It is likely that this large and impressive apothecary jar, decorated with a crane against a ground of oak leaf foliage, belonged to the pharmacy of the Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova, Florence's oldest and most distinguished hospital. Its likely maker, Giunta di Tugio, delivered many maiolica wares to the hospital, especially in the year 1431. The existence of other apothecary jars in the same style, also bearing the hospital's emblem, a crutch, suggests that they all form part of an extensive commission of maiolica wares executed by Giunta after Hispano-Moresque prototypes.
Alfred Israel Pringsheim, Munich, later Zurich (1850-1941); sale*, Sotheby's, London, July 19, 1939, lot 207, ill.; [Julius Goldschmidt, London, for Lehman]; acquired by Robert Lehman through Goldschmidt Galleries, New York, 1939. *Alfred Pringsheim was a German Jewish collector. During Kristallnacht, in November 1938, the SS seized Pringsheim’s majolica collection from his home in Munich. It was stored in the annex to the Bayerishches National Museum, Munich. In March 1939, the German Ministry of Trade authorized export of Pringsheim's majolica collection to London for auction at Sotheby's, provided that 80% of the proceeds up to £ 20,000 and 70% of the remainder be paid to the German Gold Discount Bank in foreign currency. Pringsheim was to receive the remaining proceeds. In exchange, Pringsheim and his wife were allowed to emigrate to Switzerland. See Timothy Wilson, "Alfred Pringsheim and his Collection of Italian Maiolica," in Otto von Falke, Die Majolikasammlung Alfred Pringsheim, augmented reprint with articles by Tjark Hausman, Carmen Ravanelli-Guidotti and Timothy Wilson, Ferrara 1994, vol. 3, pp. 85-87. After the war, the Pringsheim heirs received restitution of the sale proceeds paid to the Reichsbank pursuant to a settlement agreement with the German government. Minutes of a closed session of the Reparation Claims Office I for Upper Bavaria, Munich, March 11, 1955.
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