A previously unrecorded maiolica handled and spouted wet drug jar that sold for £7000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It formed part of a consignment from Newbattle Abbey, Midlothian. Standing just under 11in (27cm) high, it belongs to a small group of surviving jars made for various pharmacies in Siena from c.1500-30.

All known pieces, comparable to locally made tiles of the period, are labelled to contain syrups. In this case the inscription reads Syo.Deisap.O. It had some obvious condition issues but sold at £7000 (£600-800).

Albarellos from Perugia

Also from Newbattle, the former home of the Marquesses of Lothian and latterly a conference and wedding venue, was a pair of 8in (20cm) albarelloi c.1565 sold at £4200 (estimate £2000-3000).The labels El.D’.Genzna and Ung.D’.B’Silico probably refer to an elixir of gentian and an ointment made from basil.

L&T’s research points out that the emblems they carry is one still to be found on the buildings of the former Hospital of Santa Maria della Misericordia in Perugia. The surviving hospital account books note in 1565 payment for a set of pharmacy vases from the local potter Andrea di Marco di Iacopo delle Scine. Eight others from the set are recorded.