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.
Robert Langton Douglas , London (until 1920; sold to MMA)